The department received 136 responses to the original consultation on the arrangements for consideration of proposals on the fluoridation of drinking water, which ran from September to November 2013. There was a wide range of responses, from individuals and organisations concerned with dental and public health, local government and the quality of drinking water.
Following consideration of the responses, the department made the following policy changes in drafting the Water Fluoridation (Proposals and Consultation) (England) Regulations laid before Parliament on 19 February 2013:
- more discretion for local authorities over matters such as the composition of the joint committees that will progress consultations on fluoridation proposals where more than one local authority is affected by the proposal
- simplification of procedures e.g. all decisions on fluoridation proposals to be decided by weighted voting of local authorities, the weighting between local authorities being determined by the proportion of population of each local authority that would be affected by the fluoridation proposal.
- the setting of a 20-year interval between consultations on the termination of fluoridation schemes
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, responsibility for conducting consultations on proposals for new fluoridation schemes, or the variation or termination of existing fluoridation schemes, will transfer to local authorities from 1 April 2013.