Councillor backs mast

From Gary

A COUNCILLOR fought to have a mobile phone mast near her house because she said it was the best place for it.

Pat Hawkes has campaigned against similar masts in her Hollingbury and Stanmer ward in Brighton.

But she said a new application for a pole by her home was "the lesser of all evils".

A petition with 72 signatures was sent to Brighton and Hove City Council to object to plans for a 12.5m mast on land by Coldean Lane.

Objectors said the application from telecom giant O2, which would share its signal with H3G, would be too close to a school and would be out of keeping with the area.

They argued the mast would spark health concerns and was unnecessary because a mast from another company was put up recently.

But the green light was given to the proposals on Wednesday after Coun Hawkes spoke in their favour.

She said it was inevitable that all mobile phone companies would eventually put up masts in the area and the key was to make sure they were in the best place and shared poles as much as possible

(The Argus, Sept 1st)


I read with dismay the comments of Cllr. Pat Hawkes supporting the sitting of a mast close to her home and a nearby school. If she is willing to have a mast so close, with the full knowledge of the adverse health effects that both she and the hundreds of children may well encounter as a result, then one must surely doubt her competence to represent the local community. Does she not understand that a second mast simply doubles the exposure and risk, or did she not take maths at school? She has scant regard for the health of the local electorate and her position, as a councillor, should be brought into question.

If on the other hand she has no knowledge of the inevitable adverse health effects, despite having been warned of the potential risks, then she should at least adopt the precautionary approach before making such uninformed comments. I would suggest that she reads any or all of the following reports. Freiburger, Santini or Nalia.

Freiburger:- On the basis of our daily experiences, we hold the current mobile communications technology (introduced in 1992 and since then globally extensive) and cordless digital telephones (DECT standard) to be among the fundamental triggers for this fatal development.

Santini:- From these results and in applying the precautionary principle, it is advisable that cellular phone base stations should not be sited closer than 300 m to populations and most significantly because exposed people can have different sensitivities related particularly to their sex and their age. The facing position appears to be the worst one for distances from cellular phone base stations less than 100 m.

The result of this retrospective study in Naila shows that the risk of newly developing cancer was three times higher among those patients who had lived during past ten years (1994-2004), within a distance of 400m from the cellular transmitter, in comparison to those who had lived further away.

These and others can be found on the following web sites.

Peter Mobley
Concerned Resident
13 Wellington Road, Brighton.


Dr Boyask (Argus letters, Sept 1st) rightly slams the ineffectiveness of Government advice in preventing the siting of phone masts near schools and nurseries. Overwhelming evidence of what masts and other microwave devices are doing to people health is on Mast Sanitys' website at

Conversely, key Government advice favouring the telecom companies is treated as law by Council planning departments. Council planners are scared into agreeing to mast proposals by paragraph 30 of section eight of the Governments' Planning and Policy Guidance notes which states that in the Governments’ firm view, if the mast meets ICNIRP (International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection) guidelines then health should not be considered further. The point of this is to bully Councils into thinking that this is a rule they have to follow. It is not. It is just the Governments’ opinion.

The Newport case, a non mast case which won because the judge said perceived health should have been, but wasn’t, considered, has proven that perceived health risk is a valid planning condition and the Government do not have the power to overthrow the court's ruling in this.

Specifically relating to masts, in the Stroud case the judge stated that if the decision maker blindly stopped at the ICNIRP guidelines then they would fetter their obligation to consider the concerns of residents on a case by case basis.

For everyones sakes we cannot afford the fatalistic attitude of Councillor Pat Hawkes (The Argus, September 1st) that it is inevitable that all mobile phone companies will eventually put up masts anywhere they like.



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