Question from Kate Jakobsson, Resident
“The Minister for Digital has tried to dissuade local authorities from refusing mobile phone masts etc on health grounds. However, the official ICNIRP guidelines are very limited, out of date and carry a heavy disclaimer. The weight of independent research shows that 5G and related technology is likely to cause serious health problems, causing a strain on our health services.
What will Hammersmith and Fulham Council do to stand up to the government and protect everyone’s health?”
Answer from Councillor Ben Coleman, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care
“Thank you, thank you very much Miss Jakobsson. Thank you for the question.
I’ll try and keep this short. I thank you also for the email you sent to me setting out your concerns in more detail. I’m very happy to assure you, it comes perhaps as no surprise that anyone standing up from our administration will ever do anything that we think puts residents’ health and wellbeing at risk. So I hope that reassures you but I think you want more detail than that. When it comes to 5G, the science at the moment, says 5G is safe. But we’re aware that this is contested by some, and you put some points in your email to me.
What we want to do is we want to use what Greta Thunberg talks about as the ‘best available science’, she talks about it in a different context but I think the context that we should look at the current best available science – now the question then becomes, ‘what is the current best available science?’ Although we don’t expect the decision on 5G to have to come to Cabinet or Council for some time – you’re more informed than me I would think on the timing of the way this whole thing is rolling out – I can assure you that we are going to go the extra mile to ensure that the current best available science is what we base any decision on.
And we’ll be no doubt talking more about what that science is - there’s a lot of information, I won’t say on all sides because that makes it sound too adversarial and I think we all want to try and understand what really the impact is - and some people say there’s no impact and some people say there will be some. So we want to get the best current, at the time we’re talking the decision, available science - and I can assure you also that we will stand up, as we always do, to whoever we need to stand up to ensure that the decision we take is the right one, and that we continue to protect residents’ health the way that we already do now.”
“Can we have a halt on this until we know more? We have LED street lights, we have 5G and we get so worried about it, we have to look after our residents.”
Answer to the supplementary question
“We don’t need to have a halt because we’re not taking any decisions to move forward at the moment. We will at some point, and I’m not sure when it will be but it’s not going to be tomorrow, as a Cabinet have decisions to take. I wasn’t aiming to have a discussion about the science tonight because there are extremely strong arguments for 5G but there’s arguments against. I wasn’t aiming to have that argument. I was saying - when we come to talk about a decision, that’s when we’ll be looking at the science. No doubt we’ll be talking more then.
I hope that’s reassuring to you.”