Fluoride stays in Stratford water

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2012

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Stratford's water will remain fluoridated, with the controversial practice receiving unanimous support from the Stratford District Council.

The council's policy and services committee voted to keep the chemical in the town's water after overwhelming support during its draft long-term plan process.

Last year the New Plymouth District Council voted, amid heated debate, to remove fluoride from its water, but support for fluoridation from Stratford councillors was unanimous this week.

Of 63 submissions the Stratford District Council received on the issue, 51 called for fluoride to stay, and only 12 wanted it removed.

Mayor Neil Volzke said the council had taken the advice of the Ministry of Health, the Taranaki District Health Board and the Dental Association. "The vast majority of the local submissions want the retention of the status quo," he said. "It was the action groups who opposed it and they were from outside the district."

Meanwhile, residents living on dodgy rural central Taranaki roads will have to wait a little longer to hear how and when the roads will be fixed.

The council chose yesterday to kick the issue into touch until they know exactly how much money they will get from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

On Thursday, Mangaehu Rd residents made an impassioned plea to get their narrow and dangerous road fixed.

The council originally favoured a widening and strengthening programme for roads such as theirs but would now wait to make sure they could offer their ratepayers the best solution.

Mr Volzke warned councillors against a knee-jerk reaction while road funding questions remained unanswered.

Council assets director Sven Hanne said something would be done and no-one had pushed Mangaehu Rd, or any rural road, off the list.

The council's spending on roads was about half its total spend and that would not change.

Final plan adoption and setting of rates will be done on June 12.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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