FROME Town Council has voted to not ‘endorse’ the roll out of 5G in the town until it can be proven that it is not harmful to people and the environment.
The stance taken by the town council is a scaled back version of the original motion, which proposed that they ‘oppose’ the roll out of 5G.
Offering a faster internet connection to mobile devices, with speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G has been made available in a limited number of cities across the UK. More cities and towns in the UK are expected to join the 5G network later in the year.
However, as 5G is transmitted at a much higher frequency than 4G, it has been speculated by campaigners that ‘unsafe’ wireless radiation levels could have a health impact on people and the environment.
The subject of 5G was hotly debated by town councillors at July’s council meeting. Joining the debate were members of the ‘STOP 5G Frome and Surrounding Areas’ group.
The councillors agreed the following recommendation, “Frome Town council has a moral responsibility to protect public health and the local environment. Until there is more independent scientific consensus that 5G wireless radiation is harmless to humans and the environment, Frome Town Council adopts the precautionary principle and will not endorse the roll out of 5G.”
Leader of the council, cllr Rich Ackroyd said, “Clearly Frome Town Council is not in a position to ban or allow 5G to go ahead in our town. Although our official position doesn’t endorse the roll out, it does not mean that Frome Town Council is against 5G, simply that we’re exercising caution until we have more information available.”
Frome Town Council has agreed to work alongside Glastonbury Town Council, who has taken a similar precautionary stance, to keep abreast of any further developments.
Prior to the town council meeting, Frome & District Chamber of Commerce spoke out against the proposal to oppose the 5G roll out. Their statement said, “We are aware of concerns expressed about 5G. New technology is often met with concern and opposition. Good communications are essential for businesses in Frome. Neither the town nor the surrounding areas are well served with good broadband availability, although we have been promised that for many years. It isn’t likely that 5G is going to be arriving in Frome any time soon, but it would be wrong for it to be prevented unless and until there is good and reliable evidence of harm, outweighing the benefits.
“We therefore opposed the proposed resolution to be put to Frome Town Council on 17th July, on the grounds that it is premature and that there should be wider consultation with the business community and better evidence before the town council adopts such a strong position on this subject.”