Arun councillor criticised for claiming 5G helps spread coronavirus

An Arun councillor has been criticised for spreading conspiracy theories that 5G technology causes cancer and helps spread Covid-19.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 12:21 pm

In a post on his private Facebook page, Colin Oliver-Redgate called for a ban on the mobile phone technology, a motion rejected by the council last year.

He claimed areas across that had rolled out 5G networks had also seen rapid spreads of coronavirus – a theory rejected by the World Health Organisation.

“As a councillor, it is important to have an open mind, and not feel threatened to air my concerns, as opposed to being a part of the cover-up by remaining complicity silent,” said Mr Oliver-Redgate, a Conservative councillor for Ferring ward.

WH 010414 10,000 poppy seeds planted at Ferring Village Green to commemorate WW1. District Cllr Colin Oliver-Redgate, left and Dave farrant of ISS Landscaping. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140104-124018001

“People can then draw their own conclusions, having a democratic right to decide; just as I have a democratic right to discuss what concerns me after doing reasonable research on the subject.”

Debunked 5G conspiracy theories technology have circulated since it was introduced in 2019.

Protesters damaged masts across the country, with theories including the radiowaves can cause cancer, damage the immune system and be used by the Chinese government for espionage.

Arun District Council leader Dr James Walsh, a former GP and vice-chairman of West Sussex County Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, rejected Mr Oliver-Redgate’s claims.

“5G and other anti-Vax comspiracy theories have no place from an elected councillor in the middle of a lethal pandemic, where 100.000 people have died from it in the UK,” said Dr Walsh.

“Covid-19 is an airborne viral particulate disease, spread by coughing and sneezing, and not by a mobile telephone mast system. It is prevalent in many areas without 5G both in the UK and worldwide.”

A spokesman for the council said it did not share Mr Oliver-Redgate’s views.

“At Arun District Council we are working closely with the NHS and other partner agencies to share information and messages about the importance of vaccination and the roll out of the programme in Arun,” said the spokesman

“We have a high proportion of residents in our district who fall into the more vulnerable categories and we are keen for them to receive their vaccines as soon as possible.

“We have information on our website about the vaccination programme and how residents must wait for the NHS to contact them to invite them for their vaccinations and we are keeping our members informed with regular briefings on this subject.

“With our focus on the importance of receiving the vaccine, we can confirm that the views of Cllr Oliver-Redgate are not the views of the council.”