No faith in masts on church towers

25 October 2006

SIR - Your article on October 11 concerning mobile phone masts was a timely wake-up call to all communities in the South West as it appears there are now mobile phone company representatives working with a female co-ordinator, appointed by the Church of England to promote the use of church towers as vantage points for mobile phone masts.

It would appear that mobile phone companies, having paid £22.8 billion in licence fees to the present Government are anxious to erect the new mobile phone masts because they are under pressure to claw back their investments.

However, this does not entitle them to ride roughshod over the public and use church towers as a cheap and convenient way of erecting their masts in the middle of communities.

The present Government authorised an investigation into the safety of mobile phone masts called the Stewart Report in May, 2000 to answer the question: "Are the masts a danger to health?"

The committee's answer was : "'probably not." This was taken by the Government and the mobile phone companies as a No.

Yet the small print of the report acknowledged that it is impossible to assess the long-term health consequences of mobile phone technology after just a few years of experience. Now, instances of health problems and cancer clusters near mobile phone masts are multiplying daily.

My concern is that this Government has now taken away the right of district councils to reject mobile phone masts on the grounds of health, fearing perhaps for the financial health no doubt of their benefactors, the mobile phone companies.

May I also quote from the Church of England's own article concerning mobile phone masts: "The ethos behind Christian Ecology Link's approach is that of care for one's neighbour and the precautionary principle."

Perhaps with this in mind, St Mary's in Bideford should follow the example of the Roman Catholic Church which has now banned and removed phone masts from all its churches in Italy on the grounds of health with regard to electromagnetic pollution and because they are alien to the sanctity of the church.

I should think that just about covers St Mary's decision to place the more powerful G3 mast 50 metres from and on a level with all the house windows in Buttgarden Street.

Readers wishing to find details of illnesses or effects caused by masts should ring (01237) 423971 or even better contact

Tim Langdon, Bideford.

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