Agenda item

Matters Raised by the Public

To deal with matters raised by members of the public resident within the Borough, of which notice has been given in accordance with the procedures relating to public questions, motions or petitions set out in Paragraph 36 to 47 of the Council and Committee Procedure Rules in Chapter 4 of the Council Constitution.


(A)Stop the 5G Rollout in Sefton


(Details of any further petitions notified or questions submitted by members of the public will be circulated at the meeting).


The Mayor reported that a public petition had been received containing 752 signatures in relation to Stop the 5G Rollout in Sefton. The terms of the petition stated:

We the undersigned petition the council to Protect people's health by halting the installation of 5G antennas throughout the borough of Sefton

In a press release on 9 September 2021, the government announced that £4 million of public funds will be used to help mobile phone companies work together with local councils to use “curbside infrastructure”, such as lampposts and bus shelters, for 5G network equipment.

If Sefton Council takes part in this project, there will soon be 5G wireless antennas on lampposts throughout Sefton, beaming unprecedented levels of hazardous electromagnetic radiation (EMR) into our homes, workplaces and schools.

Shockingly, the industry has not produced a single study to show that 5G technology is safe. No risk assessment has been carried out on its effects on humans, wildlife or the environment. On the other hand, evidence from thousands of peer-reviewed studies already points to possible harms from existing sources of radiation, such as WiFi, 3G and 4G. Experts warn that the addition of 5G to the mix could have very serious and damaging consequences for human health.

EMR was classified as a possible human carcinogen in 2011 by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer. Since then, evidence of increased cancer risks has been strengthened by further human and animal studies.

Cancer rates have skyrocketed in recent years. The vast majority of people in Sefton, and indeed across the UK, will have an affected family member or friend…or will be a cancer sufferer or survivor themselves. Who knows to what extent existing radiation is driving the increase? Who knows how many more people could develop cancer as a result of 5G?

Other proven effects of EMR include damage to the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, and neurological disorders.

Children are at greater risk of harm from EMR, because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and they are physically smaller. Why then are 5G masts being erected near schools across the UK, including Sefton?

The 5G rollout is being challenged on the grounds of safety by scientists and lawyers across the world, including a legal team headed by Michael Mansfield QC here in the UK. In August 2021 in the USA, Robert F. Kennedy Jnr’s Children’s Health Defense and the Environmental Health Trust successfully sued the Federal Communications Commission for failing to ensure that its guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to EMR.

Is a faster internet connection worth the potential serious harm that 5G could cause to people’s health? Have any of us ever been asked whether we think the risks are worth taking?

As residents of Sefton, we demand an immediate halt to the 5G rollout across Sefton, to allow for thorough and comprehensive health and safety investigations and risk assessments to be carried out.


Government press release (09/09/2021): ‘Street lamps and bus shelters to help boost 5G roll out in £4 million trial’

World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer (2011): ‘IARC classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans’, Press Release No 208

Lloyd Morgan, L et al (2014): ‘Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences’, Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure

Legal case challenging the UK Government over its failure to take notice of the health risks and public concerns relating to 5G.

Legal case against 5G in USA: Environmental Health Trust, et al, Petitioners, v Federal Communications Commission and United States of America, Respondents$file/20-1025-1910111.pdf.”

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Lead Petitioner was advised of her right to make representations to the Council, not lasting more than 5 minutes.  Ms. Allman addressed the Council for 5 minutes.


The Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, Councillor Veidman responded to the petition and made the following points:


Planning Services took the lead on telecoms proposals in terms of regulation, which was essentially making decisions on the acceptability of proposed schemes that required formal planning approval. However, most telecoms proposals either fell within the remit of “permitted development” and did not require planning approval, or presented very limited opportunity to prevent prior approval schemes, which must be assessed in very tight timescales. For this reason, they were delegated to the Chief Planning Officer.


Regarding health concerns and the planning process health concerns with new electronic communication systems was not new, and whilst there was a view from some parts of the community that felt they presented a danger to health, the Government had maintained a consistent line on such matters, which was that the International Commission Guidelines on non-ionising radiation protection did not support the view that such equipment was a danger to health.


In respect of Planning Policy, planning decisions must be based on planning policy, and the documents the Council used in this respect were the Local Plan (2017) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The latter is most recent of the two, with the last update in 2021, and its content were a significant material consideration in the planning process. Telecom masts/equipment etc were addressed in Section 10 “Supporting High Quality Communication” in paras 114 to 118. The key messages are:

  • Councils should support next generation mobile technology (such as 5G)
  • Councils should not impose a ban on new electronic communication development
  • Councils must determine planning applications on planning grounds only; and
  • Councils should not seek to set health safeguards different from the International Commission Guidelines for public exposure.


Members then debated the petition.


Thereafter, it was moved by Councillor Veidman, seconded by Councillor Ian Maher and





the Chief Planning Officer be requested to write to Government to request that they issue clearer guidance to telecoms operators and providers to ensure that they carry out adequate consultation with communities on proposals and seek to ensure that they share apparatus wherever possible, design schemes so as to make them less intrusive and avoid concentrations of equipment;



the Director of Public Health be requested to review the published information on the health effects of 5G technology and provide a report on the health risks associated with such technology; and



Ms. Joanne Allman, the lead petitioner, be thanked for submitting and presenting the petition to the Council.






Supporting documents: