In an announcement shared yesterday, this time on Facebook, Cllr Johnson was getting all excited about 5G again, sharing a link to the latest Code of Practice and seemingly making promises I will hold him to.
As we continue to develop our own RBWM digital connectivity strategy, these proposed changes will be incorporated into our thinking, and will actively shape how we engage with operators and providers to ensure a first class digital provision exists across the whole of the Royal Borough.”
I read the Code of Practice this morning and was reassured by this paragraph.
110. Given the continuing scale and pace of change in the telecommunications industry, it is important that all who are involved in the planning aspects, including agents and consultants, keep up to date with legislation and the latest guidance and technological advances so that at all times the public receive the highest quality of advice. Local planning authorities should look to maintain an appropriate level of knowledge on telecommunications for their planning officers and members of planning committees. Consideration should be given to encouraging planning officers, as well as elected members, to take up opportunities to attend professional development workshops on technological developments within telecommunications.
I have asked a bunch of questions around this topic over the last 3 years and I have not received the “highest quality of advice”. All I have heard is “ICNIRP” this, “ICNIRP” that.
I asked Cllr Johnson, through his preferred channel, if his commitment means that we are going to employ someone who is a professional in this space to advise our Planning team as this technology is going to be all consuming and currently we do not have the relevant 5G expertise in house at RBWM and that would be considered negligent by some.
We need to have the right people in place so that the residents interests are foremost in our minds.