Swindon Council’s Scrutiny Committee have referred back to Cabinet a decision on its Superfast Broadband Extension Programme in North Swindon, delaying and potentially ending the scheme. See attached the Cabinet report that was presented to the Scrutiny Committee.
The Cabinet report had recommended removing 5 of the 6 base stations in North Swindon, leaving just one base station on Cassini Drive in Oakhurst to provide coverage of the Council’s Superfast Broadband across the whole of North Swindon. The Cassini Drive base station proposal already has planning permission and would include the erection of a 15m high monopole.
Priory Vale Ward Labour Candidate & North Swindon resident, Tom Smith, started a petition last weekend calling on the Council to scrap the scheme. With planning permission already given for the base station on Cassini Drive he said this was the only way to get this scheme stopped.
Following Tom starting the petition, the Scrutiny Committee on Monday delayed the scheme by voting for its referral back to Cabinet. The Scrutiny Committee is an all-party committee but has a majority of Conservative members. Priory Vale Councillor, Emma Faramarzi’s abstention together with votes from all Labour members forced the scheme back to Cabinet for review.
Labour’s Priory Vale Candidate, Tom Smith, said,“Having got signatures from Oakhurst residents objecting to this microwave base station in their local area, I am delighted to hear the delay of this scheme due to the Scrutiny Committee’s decision. With planning permission for this base station already being granted the only way this can be stopped is if the Council scrap the Superfast Broadband scheme in North Swindon.
According to the planning permission given, the base station will include the erection of a 15 metres high monopole and equipment cabinets. A pole 15 metres high will tower above the Oakhurst skyline and will be a massive eyesore to the area.
Now the Scrutiny Committee have referred the scheme back to Cabinet, I would urge the Cabinet to reconsider approving this scheme. If not I will continue to petition the Council obtaining signatures from Oakhurst residents and making sure they know the strength of feeling amongst residents.”