Somerset Scrutiny Meeting on 5G

Somerset Scrutiny Meeting 5G

Following on from Devon County Council’s 5G Scrutiny meetings, Somerset County Council’s Scrutiny council met at Shire Hall in Taunton on 11 March.

This is the full video recording of the meeting filmed by Devon campaigner John Kitson:

N.B. An annotated version is currently being prepared which has detailed rebuttals of the claims made by the industry and PHE speakers.

This is what “Somerset Live” has to say about it:

“Somerset residents lock horns with experts over how safe 5G would be for humans and the natural world”

Notice that “Somerset Live” calls someone who works for BT, a nurse and the director of mobile UK “experts”


Here’s some commentaries by some of the Somerset campaigners:

I am glad John Kitson ( filmed it so we will be able to watch the speakers when he puts it up on his website. I think the councillors’ questions to the telco’s and Somerset PHE were excellent and showed they had been listening to our presentations. The councillors were aware that the telco’s presentations made no reference to health. It appeared that whenever the local Somerset PHE officer had a difficult question, she said we would have to take it up with central PHE rather than her answering it.

I think nearly all the scrutiny councillors wanted to take it to a Task and Finish Group, which is the outcome we wanted. The fact that the speakers met beforehand and divided up all the subject areas so that each speaker was talking about one specific area really made a difference. It appeared organised, coherent and a powerful testimony about the varied dangers from 5G and the rest!


Wednesday 11th March 2020 – Somerset County Council Scrutiny Meeting with BT, Mobile UK and the County’s representative from PHE in attendance. Eleven of us spoke in favour of stopping 5G.

County councillors were treated to a range of well-informed 3-minute presentations from us of the dangers of 5G and existing 4G. We covered health, cyber security, wildlife, ICNIRP, insurance, etc etc. And thanks to the preparation work done by others (Louise and Karen), we got a very sympathetic response from the councillors. They are listening.

In contrast, councillors expressed disappointment with BT and others. They felt fobbed off with either poor answers or no answers. The best that the telcos could offer is lower latency and the possibility for millions of emergency calls to be made. The councillors criticised the telcos for not addressing the health concerns or impacts on biodiversity.

One councillor in particular referred to his worry about field mice, which was touching, and made the point that, even if we do not suffer cancers or health problems ourselves, we have a bigger problem if biodiversity is damaged and we have no food. The councillors were repeatedly told that there is no new evidence that there are any health effects or disruption to wildlife.

The telcos dismissed bee colony collapse disorder as having anything to do with phones [i.e. healthy bees mysteriously vanishing, leaving the queen and food]. In their opinion, the phenomenon pre-dates mobile phones. We were unable to point out that the phenomenon we are referring to was first identified by the US environment agencies in 2006 when some beekeepers lost nearly 90% of their hives. (We have since written to the committee with this information.) Councillors were told in no uncertain terms, however, that if the cider apple harvest were to fail in Somerset due to the loss of pollinators, there would be a riot! That message got home.

The councillors asked the telcos about ICNIRP and the heating issue. They were told that ICNIRP has looked at 25,000 science papers, that ICNIRP is a multi-disciplinary body which includes biologists [? who?]. The telcos also referred to power densities being measured at phone masts, and showed how they decline with distance [inverse square law] and are well-within the guidelines, but at no point did the telcos reference the polarised variable pulsing of the signals – which is actually the trigger for the biological harm.

On childhood cancers, the PHE representative said that the proportion had gone up because other causes of death had declined. She also muddled the statistics by quoting back at us figures that included children aged 1-18. We had cited the children’s cancer charity who base their statistics on ages 1-14. To include the older group 14-18 means that those have passed their driving tests are among those statistics – so no wonder there are other causes of death.

She mentioned electro-sensitivity. She said that PHE do not doubt that the symptoms are real. She said that what is in dispute is the cause.

She also tried to maintain that there is a constant review of the science, even though she could only refer to the last published AGNIR report in 2012, which one councillor pointed out is out of date. The best that she could quote since then is the 2015 SCENIR report which found no connection between phones and cancer. [This report also pre-dates the NTP findings of clear evidence of cancer in 2018.] There were no other published reports that she was able to mention. [PHE does not accept NTP.] So much for up to date reviews…

It seems likely that the Scrutiny Committee will decide to proceed to a Task & Finish Group which will give us an opportunity to provide the committee with more in-depth information. Everyone did brilliantly, given that 3 minutes is a challenging discipline. And there was fantastic support from so many who came from far and wide, Bristol, Glastonbury and other places. The atmosphere was electric [forgive pun] and they were definitely on the back foot, with the councillors clearly sympathetic to our campaign. Onward and upward…



N.B. We are collating the various 3-minute talks given by the Somerset campaigners. Please Contact us if you would like to have a copy for use or as inspiration for Scrutiny meetings with your local council.