HEATED arguments derailed a scrutiny meeting over the ‘dangerous conspiracy theory’ of 5G technology.

At a virtual infrastructure overview and scrutiny meeting on July 20 (Monday), debates rocked the agenda when discussing the work programme – which sets what items should be discussed on what day.

The now ex-chairman of the meeting, councillor Gurch Singh (St Mary’s) was accused of ‘not taking control’ of the panel when members were talking over each other and not raising their hand when they wish to speak on Zoom as protocol.

One of the items proposed by the vice-chairman, councillor Jon Davey (West Windsor Residents Association: Clewer and Dedworth West), to be discussed for a future meeting was how 5G will benefit Royal Borough residents and businesses – which piqued the concerns of many members.

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Councillor Chris Targowski (Conservative: Riverside) enquired why Cllr Davey promoted on his blog the ‘dangerous conspiracy theory’ of suggesting 5G technology can cause or accelerate coronavirus and if he still believes a link between the two exists.

In terms of a direct link to Covid-19, Cllr Davey said he doesn’t believe it exists, but asserted 5G technology could pose a health risks to residents.

He said: “I do have concerns over 5G and its health risks and I have brought over some proper reasoning on why we should be debating this in a grown-up way and not in a weaponised way where cheap shots are passed around the place – which has been the tradition.”

The lead member for health, as well as being an epidemiologist, councillor Stuart Carroll (Conservative: Boyn Hill) raised concerns over Cllr Davey’s evidence in support 5G-related health risks, saying members have to be ‘incredibly’ careful not to mislead the public on this issue when there’s ‘evidence’ that debunks Cllr Davey’s theories.

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During the heated debate, councillor Ross McWilliams (Conservative: Cox Green), lead member for housing, accused the vice chair of making ‘party political statements’ after Cllr Davey exclaimed ‘a typical Tory attitude’ when he was ‘shut down’ while presenting the possible health risks of 5G.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Davey said: “I just want the questions to be asked. That’s all I want. Which ever way it falls, left or right, I don’t care.

“I just want the debate to be had properly and that’s what I was trying at the meeting – but they [Conservatives] shut it down as they always do, so the hope of bringing it to a format that makes sense is limited.”