MAKE OPPOSITION TO MASTS KNOWN

Bath Chronicle 10 April 2006

If you use your mobile that doesn't mean you can't campaign for the safe siting of masts.

If you care about your health and quality of life and/or if you have children, this is why you should be concerned about the proposed siting of three 3G masts by O2 in Kingsmead.

Mast Sanity ( //www.mastsanity.org ), which campaigns for safer siting of masts, says this about 3G: "3G is the new internet and video phones launched in this country in March. There has been no specific research on either the new phones or the new masts. The only research that has been done is alarming. In 2003, Dutch government research showed that 3G base stations (masts) could cause a number of negative symptoms in people close by them.

"Symptoms included nauseousness, headaches and dizziness. What makes this report even more worrying is the fact that the study exposed people to radiation 30 times less powerful that some 3G masts, plus the study limited exposure to several minutes, not 24 hours of every single day."

Mast sanity is not worrying for nothing. Nationally, there are several problem areas known around 3G masts. Contrary to popular belief, the radiation from masts travels quite a distance and the worst sufferers within clusters of ill-health (including cancer) are generally found 100-300 metres away from installations.

Regardless of what you maybe told, masts such as these are being refused across the country.

However B &NES can only refuse if lots of local people object personally.

Inevitably, the siting of masts in highly residential areas is decided by a very small group of people - the planning services department.

The situation with local government only makes matters worse. For example, although the Bear Flat mast protesters won their case with B &NES - not to have a mast - this decision was appealed against by O2, and consequently Wendy Burden, planning inspector for the south west based in Bristol at John Prescott's office, agreed with O2 that it could indeed site the mast despite B &NES support of the Bear Flat group.

The Bear Flat group is still in the process of fighting on.

Don Foster has been actively campaigning for a 19-point change in planning laws to better regulate the 'wild west' mobile operators. So far, the Blair Government has rejected this. There are some very pro-active individuals and individual groups fighting masts in their areas, but what Bath and the people of Bath would benefit from is a group - a forum of long-term campaigners and concerned supporters - to meet several times a year. This would allow individuals to come to put strategies and therefore be more efficient and effective in opposing.

More and more 3G masts are being placed in residential areas - it is only a matter of time before your area receives a letter from O2/Vodafone etc wanting to put up a mast.

The evidence for long-term health risks is becoming too great to ignore.

If you are concerned and live or work around Kingsmead/Green Park/New King Street, in the first instance object strongly and vocally to B &NES planning services department about this mast.

Secondly, please get in touch with me, as I am wanting residents to attend a public meeting.

If you are already campaigning in your area and can offer practical advice and/or are interested in a long-term strategy group, please get in touch about making this happen!

Lastly, if you read this and are concerned about a mast near you - get organised (you also face property devaluation, for which O2 will not compensate! People move to get away from masts, not to them.)

You could be the difference between a mast going up or not - every single voice really does count. Mobile operators play on people saying nothing.

LARA VARGA
//www.sitefinder.radio.gov.uk

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