The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

Oh Glastonbury.

Report and Recommendations from Glastonbury's 5G Advisory Committee
Report and Recommendations from Glastonbury’s 5G Advisory Committee

Following on from my recent post about Glastonbury’s fun and exciting 5G report, I have had the chance to review the full report in more detail, the one that was pulled from the website and replaced with the executive summary

The executive summary is a dull document, that has redacted 96 pages, including most of the technical content of the report.

This is something that Glastonbury Town Council is mindful of when passing significant resolutions – be it anti-fracking, declaring ‘climate emergency’, banning Glyphosate, or acquiring ‘Earth Protector’ status – and it is certainly true of our resolution to adopt the Precautionary Principle with regard to concerns about the safety of fifth generation cellular network technology (5G) and its roll-out.

Indeed, within a week of our resolution, Parliament held a Westminster Debate on the subject; Hansard records the opening statement by Tonia Antoniazzi MP: “This Westminster Hall debate is timely. It comes on the back of an historic decision by Glastonbury Town Council to oppose the roll-out of 5G because of a severe lack of evidence about its effect on the health of those living and working around 5G sites.” [Hansard 25th June 2019, Volume 662].

In an attempt to explore the merit of our position, Glastonbury Town Council convened a ‘5G Advisory Committee’ comprising of both councillors and non-council members, to report back to the council – with recommendations – during the Spring of 2020.

The Town Council is greatly indebted to the members of this advisory committee, who have met regularly; collected and studied a large volume of literature – and received presentations from a number of academics and professionals, including the Director of Mobile UK, the organisation overseeing the roll-out of 5G in the UK.

As chair of Glastonbury Town Council’s 5G Advisory Committee, I can say that this has been one of the most interesting times I have experienced as a councillor. I’ve also been impressed by the number of councils and local authorities who have contacted me to request copies of the committee’s report and recommendations… The deliberations of Glastonbury’s committee no doubt a microcosm of the wider debate yet to unfold on a national scale!

On a personal note, I would like to thank Glastonbury’s Town Clerk, Gerard Tucker, for his untiring patience, commitment, and dedication to the committee and the process; without which, our task would have been infinitely more difficult.

Cllr. Jon Cousins – Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury

So on page two of the document we already have issues with the document exposed. Jon Cousins’ introduction makes states “Precautionary Principle with regard to concerns about the safety of fifth generation cellular network technology (5G) and its roll-out”. The way this sentence is structured feels to me that he already has issues with it, and validates the concerns, whether real or imagined as fact.

Also in the introduction, he makes reference to a statement made in parliament by the Glastonbury MP, Tonia Antoniazzi (Labour). According to the Hansard journal1, Tonia Antoniazzi‘s statement where she claimes that 5G technology is carcinogenic, and she refers back to the report:

This Westminster Hall debate is timely. It comes on the back of an historic decision by Glastonbury Town Council to oppose the rollout of 5G because of a severe lack of evidence about its effect on the health of those living and working around 5G sites.

Tonia studied French and Italian at Exeter University, and then she went on to get a PGCE from Cardiff University. While I don’t doubt that she is an intelligent woman, her background does not suggest a strong science background.

Cllr. Mike Smyth was the person who with Cllr Jon Cousins proposed and seconded the authoring of the report with the following remit:

This council has a social responsibility to protect the public and environment from exposure to harm, albeit unpredictable in the current state of scientific knowledge, and therefore opposes the roll-out of 5G in the Parish of Glastonbury – based on the precautionary principle – until further information is revealed from a newly convened 5G Advisory Committee (working group).

I can’t find an eduction history or CV for either Mike Smyth or Jon Cousins.

The Glastonbury Town Council launched an 5G Advisory Committee to write a report

The purpose of the 5G Advisory Committee being to:

  1. Write a report – to be presented to Glastonbury Town Council – about
    1. the committee’s findings and conclusions on the safety or otherwise of 5G cellular network technology, and
    2. any proposed actions that the Town Council should undertake as a result of the report.
  2. Reinforce, or not, Glastonbury Town Council’s resolution to oppose the roll-out of 5G.

The Advisory committee was made up of the following council members

  • Cllr. Sue Barnet
  • Cllr. Jon Cousins
  • Cllr. Paul Lund
  • Cllr. Lindsay MacDougall
  • Cllr. Brian Outten
  • Cllr. Mike Smyth
  • Cllr. Ian Tucker
  • Cllr. Nick Cottle [who subsequently resigned due to commitments as a Portfolio Holder in the Cabinet of Mendip District Council]
  • Cllr. Denise Michell – By virtue of Standing Order 39 – the Mayor, Cllr. Denise Michell became an ex-officio, ninth voting member of the committee.

And the non-councillor members of the 5G Advisory Committee were

  • Christopher Baker – Campaigned against 5G across the south-west. Before the committee was formed, has also been lobbying Glastonbury councillors to ban the technology (See Youtube) – Not local to the area2.
  • Derek Cooper – a retired electronics engineer who had worked in the defence and aerospace industries – resigned before completion
  • Toby Hall – Recommended The use of a 5GBioShield as he found the use of the device to be “helpful”, and also recommended Shungite (page 30).
  • Susan Jones – Enjoys stoking a number of conspiracy theories that are easily provable to be wrong, including “5G was developed by USA military as crowd control weapon initially” which I have already written about, and “The effective power of those beams could be 20 watts; multiple beams will be unavoidable”, which has been covered here
  • Roy Procter C.Eng FRAeS (Professional from the aeronautics or aerospace industry) – “5G is a danger to the health and wellbeing of all life and is also has potential for very intrusive surveillance and control”. Also, Roy Procter is the person who raised the question of the link between “the Coronavirus and 5G?” (page 24).
  • Carol Roberts – a molecular biologist working in the pharmaceuticals industry – resigned before completion
  • Sandra Spearing – Not sure what her background is, but active on Facebook in anti 5G groups – “It is unfortunate, safety always lags technology, we are all worth more, our world and children are worth more, and, to quote Professor Tom Butler, “it would be absolute madness to expose the human population to this type of environmental toxin”.
  • David Swain – a businessman and Conservative councillor in a neighbouring town resigned before completion
  • Mark Swann – who has a physics degree – resigned before completion

On page 12 of the document Cllr. Brian Outten writes of three of the people who left the committee:

Mark Swann, Derek Cooper, and Carol Roberts all decided to leave the Committee after initially providing many important opinions as well as reports

In a BBC article the following was written:

“I joined the working group in good faith, expecting to take part in a sensible discussion about 5G,” says Mr Swann. “Sadly the whole thing turned out to be a clueless pantomime driven by conspiracy theorists and sceptics.”

Mr Cooper reached the same conclusion: “I worked out there were only four of us who were neutral. And the others were all absolutely against 5G, either strongly or weakly.”

One non-council member of the committee, Roy Procter, concludes: “5G is a danger to the health and wellbeing of all life and is also has potential for very intrusive surveillance and control.”

It was also Mr Procter who speculates that there could be a link between the coronavirus and 5G.

He writes in the report: “At the moment, with 10,000 recently installed 5G antennas plastering its city, Wuhan is probably one of the most 5G-electropolluted cities on the planet.”

It is safe to say that this report is not worth the paper it is written on and should be considered a case study in why not all views are equal. Putting science against heresy and rumours about 5G is never going to work well, Science is not a fluffy subject, it is not easy to make the numbers friendly, however it is easy to make people feel that it is dangers just by miss representing facts.

It is also easy to see why when presented with the conspiracy therorys and lies presented by some members of the Committee, the more science led felt the only option was to resign.

  1. Eaiser to read version
  2. “Mr Cooper says the committee was supposed to be made up of people who lived in the area or had a business there. He complained that Christopher Baker did not meet those requirements because he lived in Hampshire, which does not even border Somerset.” – BBC

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