Welcome to Mast Sanity

We are the primary national organisation opposing the insensitive siting of mobile phone and Tetra masts in the UK. Read more...

Phone Mast News Feeds

News Now News Now
Google News Google News Feed
Powerwatch Powerwatch News Feed
** New** ES-UK ES-UK News Feed
MS Research Mast Sanity Research News Feed
MS News Mast Sanity News Feed

Donate

Please consider supporting our efforts.

Amount: 

Or Send Donations by post to:

Mast Sanity
c/o Highfields
Brantham Hill,
Manningtree, Essex
CO11 1SD

Press Releases

Mast Sanity press office is open during the working week to deal with all press and media enquiries. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The Mast Sanity Press Office can be contacted by e-mail only, currently.

 

 

Our press officers are volunteers but try to respond immediately and certainly within an hour. If a response hasn't been received within an hour and the matter is urgent please call our advice line. PLEASE only do this if the enquiry is urgent. It would help us if you state your deadline for requiring the information. We also provide spokespeople and are regularly asked for a representative to appear on news programmes. Mast Sanity has also worked with producers and researchers on a number of TV and radio programmes and documentaries. We issue regular press releases and these can be accessed via the link below.

 

Our press officers have access to our data base of campaigns and can provide contact details of campaigns willing to speak to the press and many other contacts and sources. Health, technical, planning and environmental information can also be provided. For background information on the issues our health section provides links to many research studies. Papers by scientists Gerard Hyland , Barrie Trower and Neil Cherry provide good background information.

 

Also recommended are:

In addition check out our newsfeeds for an indication of the number of regional stories there are. This IS the single biggest issue concerning more people in more areas than anything else. Something has to give soon. Most politicians whether local, national or European will admit that they get more correspondence about mobile phone and TETRA masts than any other issue

There were only 5 MPs present at the presentation by Dr Carlo of the Safe Wireless Initiative, USA on mobile phone health risks at Westminster on Thursday 22nd February.  There has been a virtual news blackout on his presentation in the UK media. 

Mobile phones have been sold in the US and UK without any pre-market testing or post-market surveillance.  US Congressional Hearings gave rise to a US$ 28 million research program by Dr Carlo and his team at Harvard to investigate any health effects of the technology.   In 1999 the team released their findings 1. that there was leakage in the blood brain barrier 2 genetic damage from non-thermal radiation 3. there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer.   During 1999 and 2001 there was a split between the scientists and the mobile phone industry.  

Asked a question about wireless computers being installed in British schools, Dr Carlo said 'the government should not be conducting this experiment' on children. 

Although there are studies and research for and against health effects, the latest Interphone study does show an increase in brain tumours and acoustic neuromas.  Because of that the German and Swedish Agencies for Radiation Protection have issued warnings for people to keep their radiation exposure low.  

He identified a lack of and urgent need for a postmarked surveillance system to be established to collect clinical data.  Robert Flello MP (Labour, Stoke-on-Trent) stated at the meeting that his constituents are concerned by a cancer cluster and he has been trying to get data about the illnesses and deaths but he has been sent from one agency to another and back again. No one is collecting the data. 

Dr Carlo said that primary care givers need to be alerted to the situation and trained to recognise and treat the symptoms of EMF radiation.   

Yasmin Skelt, a volunteer with Mast Sanity and who was at the meeting at Westminster said  “The British Government need to urgently establish a Mobile Phone Telephony Surveillance Unit based on the lines of the vCJD Surveillance Unit (www.cjd.ed.ac.uk).  If it can be done for vCJD then it can be done for mobile phone and mast ill health reports.  Despite years of reports of cancer clusters near masts or a rise the incidence in brain tumours in the UK, no authority is taking data.  Monitoring the health of workers in the mobile phone industry would be useful also, as they would have high exposure levels.  Some early cases of vCJD were also mis-diagnosed and the sufferers given the wrong treatment, and clusters of vCJD were identified.” 

Brian Stein, who suffers from electrical hyper sensitivity (a condition now recognised by the World Health Organisation) asked who would be responsible when the campaigners were all proved right.  There was a deafening silence.  

Dr Carlo also visited Ireland to talk to Irish doctors and his visit has been reported in the Irish media.  People can see the Radio Telefis Eireann interview on http://rte.ie/news/primetime/ . Or visit the Safe Wireless Initiative website at www.safewireless.org
 
Press Contact:  Yasmin Skelt

Hard-Hitting Report Suppressed by Government?

The Government is continuing to suppress publication of a hard-hitting report into the conduct of telecommunication companies despite Planning Minister Yvette Cooper telling the House of Commons on October 10th that it would be released SHORTLY. A Freedom of Information Act request was also submitted some time ago for the release of this document, yet still it is being withheld.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister received the report from Professor Allmendinger of Reading University in March 2005 but has repeatedly refused to release it despite numerous requests for its contents to be made public. Arup and Reading University were commissioned by the Government in 2004 to carry out a study into the extent of pre-planning consultation by mobile phone operators and their adherence to the code of best practice in the process of erecting base stations.

Mast Sanity receives regular complaints of widespread abuse of the relevant Government guidelines and codes of best practice by telecommunications companies. Despite this the Government continues to turn a blind eye to the serious failure of companies to adhere to the industry code and guidelines agreed between the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Mobile Operators Association.

“Withholding this report amounts to a deliberate attempt by the Government to suppress information which should have already been put in the public domain in the public interest. This cynical and deliberate action by the Government has allowed telecommunications companies to continue to erect phone masts while openly flouting Government guidelines and codes of best practice and ignoring the wishes of local communities affected by masts,” says Mast Sanity Press Officer Sian Meredith. “The five mobile phone operators appear have so much control over the Government that Ministers refuse to release anything that may cause any embarrassment to the industry. No other industry would get away with this complete lack of regulation. "What is even more curious is that Planning Minister Yvette Cooper publicly criticised Vodafone for their failure to carry out pre-planning consultation in her own constituency and yet has so far refused to release this report. The Government may be waiting until as many masts as possible have been erected before they release the report knowing that once the masts are up it is almost impossible to get them removed no matter what guidelines or codes have been flouted in order to get them erected.”

Amanda Wesley, Mast Sanity trustee says, “The ODPM seem to have honed the skill of evading this issue to a fine art, and obviously use a different dictionary to the rest of the English-speaking world, as 'shortly' and 'consultation' mean something else to the rest of us! The Planning Minister is now in danger of misleading the House given that the definition of SHORTLY may be reasonably interpreted as a few days or weeks.”


Notes for Editors

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has put pressure on the telecomms operators by requiring the operators each to achieve 80% coverage of the UK - despite the short range of 3G masts - by 2007: www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1143966

In 2004 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned a study by the University of Reading and Arup to assess the impact that the code of best practice has had since its introduction and how local authorities have implemented the code and how the public perceives its operation.

Press release

Network Rail flout planning laws with giant microwave masts
Even ODPM unaware of Network Rail’s ‘rights’

Network Rail plan to erect over 2,000 microwave radio masts, one every four or five miles, along every railway line in the UK. Each of these masts will be at least 33 metres tall - as high as a 12-storey block of flats.

Because of a legal loophole, they don't need planning permission.

Even John Prescott appears to be ignorant of the extent of Network Rail's powers. In Paragraph 5 of the evidence submitted to the All Party Parliamentary Mobile Group in April 2004 (http://www.apmobile.org.uk/odpm.doc), the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister boasts of its:

"...national policies for the protection of the countryside and residential areas, in particular our National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The installation of any communications mast in such areas, and of a mast of more than 15 metres in height elsewhere, is subject to a full planning application."

According to Chris Bunyan, Mast Sanity's coordinator Network Rail, "This is simply not true - because of their privileged position, which the ODPM supports, Network Rail can, and do, erect masts of any height, anywhere they want, regardless of local concerns".

Network Rail has selected sites for most of the 2,022 planned masts, but - because no consultation is required - most of the target communities remain in ignorance.

Mast Sanity had obtained (via a Wiltshire protest group) a list of 183 proposed locations in Network Rail's south-west region. The list is available on Mast Sanity's website, along with instructions on how individuals and communities can obtain similar lists for their region.

Mast Sanity's new Network Rail Mast campaign team provide a national focus for local groups faced with the imminent threat of a Network Rail monstrosity.

Contact: Chris Bunyan

Coordinator, Network Rail Masts, Mast Sanity

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

<TOP>

PRESS RELEASE - For immediate use: 10 May 2004

The Home Office is unable to prove safety of its own TETRA police communications system, on grounds of research ethics.

Mast Sanity is calling for reassurance that the TETRA system is safe. Mast Sanity is being contacted by a huge and increasing number of people expressing enormous opposition to O2 Airwave as it erects TETRA masts in a nationwide network. Across all social strata and in all regions, ordinary people are reporting symptoms of ill health from these masts, which are now being installed approx. every ten miles in a desperate bid to meet contractual requirements and avoid late delivery compensation payouts. The symptoms reported range from headaches and itchy skin to increased epileptic episodes, repeated nosebleeds and serious sleep disorders. Confidence in this system, within the communities it is designed to serve, has been totally destroyed.

No reassurance of safety, no acceptance of evidence

Repeatedly we are told that “more research is needed”. The Government and the Home Office in particular have sponsored a wide range of research around the area, but none of this will investigate the consistent range of immediate adverse health effects attributed by so many people to TETRA masts. Groups all over the UK, formed in opposition to the TETRA system, chiefly on grounds of risk to health, are able to report the effects in their own areas, where Tetra is installed. Yet all calls for epidemiological surveys to establish the connection with TETRA are being ignored.

David Baron of Mast Sanity said, “ People’s health is being put at risk; this cannot be dismissed as an acceptable consequence of progress.”

John O’Brien, a leading campaigner against TETRA in Sussex, went on to say, “The response we are usually given is ‘there is no evidence’, and that what they do report is too complex to be separated out from all other environmental influences. It is quite clearly more than coincidental that when TETRA masts are turned on, symptoms start. When they are turned off they stop.”

Government in public challenge

Mast Sanity has continually called for a stop to the TETRA rollout until appropriate research has been carried out. Now, in a public letter to the Home Office, Department of Health, Health and Safety Executive, National Radiological Protection Board and Health Protection Agency, ten groups across the south have challenged the Government to amend this research deficiency. As Andy Davidson of Worthing, who suffers as a result of a TETRA mast, stated, “We do not wish to be subjected to an untested system that is effectively being tested on us – we don’t want to be the guinea pigs”.

The group has proposed a simple double blind test of two TETRA masts, set up in comparable residential areas, one switched on and one off, so that a subsequent survey of reports of any adverse health effects could be statistically correlated with the masts. However, we understand researchers from the Home Office cannot do this on grounds of ethics. It appears that whilst the Home Office can engage a private company to erect and operate this untested system anywhere it likes, even expressly against the wishes of residents, it cannot engage its own research partners in erecting the same masts for the purposes of measuring their biological effects on people. Only if in the test communities (one live, one placebo) every man woman and child were to give their explicit consent, and continue to do so throughout the experiment, could such an experiment take place.

Yet the Home Office continues to assert that the system is “probably safe” and should continue to be rolled out regardless of the wishes or fears of anyone in those communities. While no pre-rollout research has been done, residents exposed to Tetra are de facto research subjects, along with the police.

Contacts

David Baron - Mast Sanity (Tetra Coord)

Andy Davidson – Mast Sanity spokesperson and person ill as a result of TETRA

John O’Brien - Spokesperson for ‘Protect Sussex from TETRA’ -

Mast Sanity Press Office

Notes for Editors

Note: Whereas Mast Sanity does not advocate experimentation on any community, we feel that the position held by the Government when dealing with this group's suggestions is two faced. As in the rollout of the controversial TETRA system, it refuses point blank to take into account the opinions of rank and file police officers as well as those of hundreds of very frightened communities across the country.

1. TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is the new Home Office radio communications system being offered to police authorities throughout the UK.

2. Contrary to Government interpretations, all UK TETRA equipment, including base stations, transmit digital signals in pulses that coincide with beta brain wave activity, with a clear risk of disrupting key biological processes. The Stewart report to Government advised that this pulsed frequency be avoided.

3. Pulsed radio waves at extremely low frequencies affect living tissues, promoting cell multiplication and growth, and are used in this way in the medical profession.

4. The core network, with partial coverage, requires nearly 3,500 masts across the UK. Resistance in a number of areas has resulted in severe hold-up to the rollout as O2 Airwave struggle to fill the gaps.

5. O2 Airwave has gathered a national reputation for breaching planning regulations, with a consistent lack of consultation and lack of respect for local people and decision makers, in a bid to complete its contract. Some Police Authorities have publicly distanced themselves from the behaviour of O2 Airwave.

6. The system has been criticised on grounds of cost, value for money, on real functionality, and above all on the possible dangers to health. The issues have been raised in Parliament and in the European Parliament, and the NRPB has indicated the need for more research.

7. In Dursley, Gloucestershire, some 70 residents regularly have to leave their village for respite and recovery.

8. The system is not exclusive, but being run in parallel with the old analogue system because police authorities are not yet happy with its performance. The Government could retain the right to continue to use existing frequencies, on licence, after 2005, if it chose to, and to maintain continuity of service with the existing system’s known capabilities.

9. The current estimated cost at £2.9 billion (increased from an original figure of £1.6 billion) is only an initial estimate for a core service. In order to achieve full operational capability, further very large sums will have to be committed by Police Forces to pay for development of presently unavailable functionality (eg data) and increased coverage.

10.Research by Imperial College, London for the Home Office will monitor the health of the entire police force using Tetra equipment over many years. The ethics of this study is different because Imperial College has not set up the experiment. No research or monitoring has been done and none is planned, relating to Tetra base stations.

<TOP>

Media Release – For Immediate Distribution 26th January 2004

POLICE CONDEMN AIRWAVE TETRA TACTICS

The recent deluge of bad publicity surrounding Airwave mmO2, the company installing the controversial TETRA communications system has prompted a swift response from the police. In an effort to distance themselves from the growing number of complaints about Airwave’s unlawful erection of masts in the county, Sussex Police Authority spokesman, Dr John Godfrey has made the following statement in a letter to the Campaign for Planning Sanity. He says, “The Police Authority has made it absolutely clear that any illegal action being taken to erect masts in advance of planning permission being obtained is unacceptable.”

Campaigners concerned about the proliferation of phone masts generally are quick to point out that the problem is not confined to Sussex or simply to Airwave 02. Recent estimates suggest that fifty per cent of masts required for third generation mobile phones, the police TETRA system and Network Rail are bypassing the planning process altogether. Loopholes and confused planning guidance are allowing the telecom operators a freedom from control not enjoyed by other private companies.

As public anxiety about health risks from mobile telecommunication technology grows, MPs all over the country are finding the issue dominating their postbags. West Suffolk MP, Richard Spring has responded by tabling a private member’s Bill in consultation with Planning Sanity and Mast Sanity, the national campaign group. The bill will attempt to tighten up planning controls and give greater powers to local authorities to control the current chaotic situation in relation to mast siting.

Communities, which have seen their environments blighted over the last few years are urging their own MPs to support this initiative. Mast Sanity spokesman, Karen Barratt says the time has come for the Government to recognise the problem and do something about it. “ They must realise that they are dealing with highly educated, well-informed protest groups who are cynical about reassurances from Government and industry. We are not prepared to be fobbed off with reports on health, that are based on selective research projects which make no attempt to replicate findings which show an adverse effect. The so-called “precautionary approach” is not being followed. The public, particularly children must be protected now.”

Campaigners say that the problems with Airwave TETRA system are the latest example of an ill-advised Government policy which has put too much faith in an untested, high-risk technology and has allowed the operational freedom given to the industry to threaten local democracy. “I’m not surprised that Airwave think they can ignore planning refusals,” says Karen Barratt. “They’ve seen the way Orange, T-Mobile and the rest disregard the wishes of ordinary people and get away with it. I’m glad the Sussex Police Authority have condemned their outrageous behaviour but I’d be far more impressed if David Blunkett ended their Home Office contract”.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: Contact: Mast Sanity Spokesperson Karen Barratt tel: **** - Mast Sanity Public Helpline 08704 322377

For information on the Telecommunication Mast Bill 2004 See: http://www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/mastbill.html

<TOP>

For immediate release - 29th April 2003

PHONE MAST POLITICAL POLICY QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS

LABOUR NO REPLY - TORIES NO REPLY - LIB DEMs NO REPLY

Major parties have ignored the phone mast issue in crucial local elections, despite being the number one local concern nation-wide. However, many minor parties have taken the time and effort to set out their policies on phone masts. A 29 question survey was sent to all registered political parties yet not one of the main parties took the time to respond on questions that are crucial to tens of thousands of local communities.

Labour Mini Manifesto on the Child states in its heading: "There's nothing more precious than my child". Mast Sanity hears on a daily basis of children in local communities struck down by ailments believed to be associated with phone masts. Labour are staying tight lipped on their phone mast policy.

Tories Manifesto sets out in the environment section: "Conservatives are committed to preserving and enhancing both the countryside and the built environment for current and future generations; care for the environment starts at our front door". Yet, they fail to address the environmental blot in both the urban and rural environments from the indiscriminate trifid like spread of phone masts. Tories are staying quiet on their phone mast policy!

Lib-Dems in their primary policy document on planning fail within its 36 pages to even mention phone masts. Clearly the Lib-Dems are keeping quiet about their phone mast policy!

Mast Sanity Director of Planning Chris Maile said "It is sad that one of the most controversial local issues in nearly every community is not included in any of the main political parties manifesto commitments for this election.Even sadder that they have ignored the direct request for information on their policy in order that we can best advise our members and supporters on the merits of voting for those parties. This leaves us with no option but to advise all those concerned about phone masts to use their vote wisely and only vote for those that are known opponents of the insensitive siting of masts, the vast majority of which from our survey responses indicate that independents and local parties are most likely to support the views of those communities, ensuring their policies match the concerns of those opposed to the insensitive siting of masts".

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham further condemned the political parties for failing to take up the phone mast issue within their election commitments "We cannot trust the political parties to stand up and be counted in support of the tens of thousands of communities affected by masts. The main parties are the first to tell us to register our concerns through the ballot box but how can we best judge who our vote should be cast fo, if we are denied the knowledge of where those parties stand on this important issue. Therefore, the best advise we can give to those without a credible local candidate is to cast your vote ONLY for those candidates with a proven track record of supporting local communities on mobile phone and TETRA masts".

END - EDITORS NOTE: Copy of survey sent to all registered political parties available at http://www.planningsanity.co.uk/survey.doc

Media Office

<TOP>

For immediate release - 3rd April 2003

PLANNING MINISTER AGREES CHANGES MUST HAPPEN

In a meeting between Mast Sanity the All Party Parliamentary Working Group on Mobile Phones and Lord Rooker the Minister for Planning, the Minister was taken a back to discover that, like his predecessors, he had been wrongly briefed on many phone mast issues. He has now instructed senior staff to undertake work to see how changes can be implemented to ensure that all mast applications are taken through the local planning process, thereby effectively outlawing the many loopholes that now exist.

The understanding of Ministers, including Lord Rooker, was that all installations would be treated as full planning applications in all but name, and he was visibly shocked to discover this was not the case. He realised that he had been misled in the briefings he had received from the Ministry, making the comment "I hope I have not been signing letters with this incorrect information in it", which was a direct reference to the statement that 'All masts would be decided as full planning in all but name'.

Mast Sanity Director of Planning and Development Chris Maile said "We have, since the introduction of the present Permitted Development Order in August 2001, been requesting the relevant Planning Ministers address the question of the loopholes as a matter of urgency. It is clearl from the meeting yesterday that Ministers were being misled into thinking that all applications were being processed by the local planning authorities. We hope now that the Minister will live up to his word and ensure that this now happens. It is clearly contrary to natural justice if local residents who have to live with these installations are not consulted prior to the applications being approved".

Chris continued "It is a sorry state of affairs when Ministers are kept in the dark and in this case blatantly misled, especially when it effects the lives of thousands of local communities. The mast movement was pleased when Nick Raynsford announced that all applications should be decided as full planning applications in all but name, we are pleased that the present Minister is of the same view, now we demand that becomes a reality".

Mast Sanity is to write again to the Minister setting out other areas of concern that were not raised due to time constraints, and to confirm what we under stood the Minister agreed.

The Loopholes

Installations on buildings and structures that do not exceed the height of that building or structure by 4 metres. This is the most commonly used loophole with one operator having instructed agents to install over 4000, all without any reference to the local planning authority, and without the local community being consulted, in some cases on sites where the local planning authority have already refused an application.

Installations within, or on Church property. These are decided by the Church through their own planning processes, again by-passing the local planning authority, and the ability of the local communities to made representations. Although there are some exceptions to the general rules such as those on listed building, or in conservation areas.

Network Rails internal telecommunication system. Another example of installations not being considered by the local planning authority or allowing the public to be consulted. In some cases these installations are up to 33 metres high. NT propose installing approximately 3800 of these new masts.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: Media Office ; Helpline 0

<TOP>

For immediate release - 17th March 2003

PIXIES DESTROY PHONE MAST

The epidemic that has been raging throughout Northern Ireland, that has seen several phone masts mysteriously fall over in the middle of the night, has crossed over to the UK where it seems that pixies have been very busy in the Tiverton area. However, it seems that phone operators are accusing anti-mast campaigners of being responsible.

MAST SANITY STATEMENT

Whilst Mast Sanity understands the concerns of local residents and why violence erupts, we cannot condone any form of violence or unlawful activity. Whilst we understand the frustration that local communities have at having a potential health threatening installation thrust upon them, quite often without even being consulted, we do not beleive that violence is the way forward. Parents with young children will naturally reach out to protect those children, and that is what is happening at the moment. What is more worrying is that this is a growing trend with violence becoming a daily occurrence. It is therefore very important that all those involved in fighting insensitive phone masts keep up the pressure on the phone operators, on the Government and Council, but in a non-violent law abiding manners.

Mast Sanity is keeping up that pressure by supporting legal action, by providing the materials needed by local communities to oppose insensitively sited masts, and by holding talks at all levels of government (next round of talks is on the 2nd April with the Planning Minister Lord Rooker). We therefore ask for restraint - first from the operators in them keeping to the commitments that they have made, and by not using loopholes or unlawfully installing masts - from the Government by not continuing to stand by the indefensible position that there is no health risk when the latest research gives clear evidence to the contrary - and finally from local communities, who despite being constantly stamped upon from above we ask them to keep calm and have a little more patience whilst we attempt to bring sanity into the planning process.

Mast Sanity are of the firm view that the Government must change its stance on mobile phones and implement a fairer policy structure that allows greater participation by the communities affected. If the Government is unwilling to implement changes then we urge all affected local communities to participate in traditional, but lawful and non-violent means of persuading the Government to implement the policies that will bring about justice. We also urge local communities to join a 'Class' action in the courts that Mast Sanity is coordinating in order to gain clarity from the courts on a number of controversial issues, and procedures, such as the use of loopholes to by-pass the local planning process.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "We are clearly at a cross roads where violence is starting to take over from the democratic process, we are in a country where our own Government is prepared to break international law and go to war with Iraq without a UN resolution, how then can the Government expect our citizens to act within the law. We must therefore bring sanity back to the system, we must condemn the violence that has happened in the last few weeks, as understandable as it is, but we must also see a change in Government policy. Let us see positive action from John Prescott let him give justice to the thousands of communities being destroyed by this technology".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said "As a mother of 3 young children I want to know that my children are safe at home and school. I want to know that my children's health is not being eroded in the name of profits for greedy telecommunications companies. Therefore I want change in the way decisions are made, I understand exactly why a local resident in an area like Tiverton that has a large number of ill health effects that are suspected to be caused by phone masts to want to tear down a phone mast to protect their children. Mast Sanity is making a difference, with many with many masts being refused, and many appeals being won. We now have a meeting with the Planning Minister, let us give that process a chance before violence becomes the norm".

END - EDITORS NOTE: This story relates to the number of phone masts that have been destroyed in Northern Ireland and the recent destruction of a mast in Tiverton Devon, as well as the violence on a demonstration in Manchester. All of which Mast Sanity does not support these illegal activities. Media Office 0161 ; Office 0161 959 0999 Helpline 08704 322 279.

<TOP>

For immediate release - 12th March 2003

MAST CAMPAIGN WARNS PHONE OPERATORS OVER HEALTH FEARS

Mast Sanity has written to all the UK (and Northern Ireland) Mobile Telecom Operators warning them of the consequences if they fail to immediately take action to prevent the public from potential adverse health effects from telecommunication installations. The letter (copy attached) informs the operators of existing research that points to potential health threats, making it clear that they will no longer be able to claim that they continued in ignorance of the potential risk. Therefore if it is proven at a later date that any individual has suffered as a direct consequence of the emissions from a telecommunication installation, or that such an installation affects the value of their property due to ill health effects, they will not have the potential defence in court that they were unaware of such a threat.

Similar letters are to be sent to land owners and local authorities who allow phone masts on their premises. We will also be sending one to the Government as the Executive body responsible for both public health and putting in place procedures for protective health and safety regulations, and a ridged planning and environmental health process. Coupled to the profits that the Government have accrued from the sale of licences (G3 licences netted £24.5billion).

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said: "Phone operators have been aware for some considerable time of the potential risks.  We are putting that knowledge into a formal process that will be used in the courts to obtain compensation as soon as it can be proven that any individual has suffered any a health effect as a direct consequence of the emissions from a telecommunication installation. Similarly with any proven adverse effect upon the value of any property within the UK, then action will be taken to gain compensation. As an organisation we can no longer sit idle whilst a growing number of academics indicate that peoples health is being destroyed by this technology. We do not intend to do nothing when there are individuals profiting from causing this misery amongst so many people".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile added: “There is increasing amounts of evidence suggesting there is a risk. Are the 1000 medical professionals that have signed the Freiburger Appeal all wrong when they point to a whole range of illnesses that they say on their professional observations are connected to base stations and mobile phones? Equally are we to ignore the comments of the Governments own chief scientist Prof. Challis who refuses (despite Government pressure) to state that there is no risk. Clearly a potential risk exists, the operators and Government know this yet refuse, or at the very least are prepared to close their eyes to the risks, in order to boost their profits and, in the case of the Government, boost future licence fees. This must be stamped upon to ensure that operators and the Government are aware of the consequences of allowing peoples health to continue to be put at risk".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: A sample copy of the letter is attached which will be sent to the telecommunication system operators, TETRA operator 02, Network Rail, Crown Castle and other known operators of telecommunication systems. Appropriately altered by similar letters will be sent to local authorities, Government and landowners. Additionally many of the local groups that make up Mast Sanity will also be sending similar letters in respect of specific sites, or localities to the relevant mobile phone operators.

Media Office 0161 Helpline/Office 08704 322 279

<TOP>

For immediate release - 12th March 2003

MAST RALLY CONSIDERED HUGE SUCCESS

Mast Sanity were celebrating after the success of their first National Phone Mast Rally and plans are already a foot for a larger more significant rally next year. There was a diverse group of speakers from Dr Ian Gibson who has background in Cancer research as well as being a Labour MP to Cllr. Pat McGinn of Sinn Fein.

The speakers, all specialist in their own fields, set out their concerns:

Dr Ian Gibson MP (Labour - Norwich North): In relation to adverse health said, "We have to get the health issue put at the top of the agenda. If I had to put money on it, I would say many more people will suffer effects in their life." (This was a very significant and powerful statement from not simply a Labour MP but from a Cancer specialist.)

Dr Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party - South East): "I believe we should call for a change in the
law regarding the siting of masts near our homes to stop any more sacrifices from happening. There is just not enough research yet and it seems we have to wait until we have an epidemic of cancer until we can act and that is just not good enough. The existing safety guidelines only look at the thermal effects of masts, and that is not right. There is enough research about the dangers to say masts should not be put in populated areas."
(Dr Lucas has made representations to the European Commission as well as the European Parliament on the phone mast issue, and commissioned the important report on the health effects of mobile phones and base stations by Dr. Gerald Hyland).

Cllr. Pat McGinn (Sinn Fein): "…." (Who is one of Northern Irelands leading campaigners against base stations, both in the council chamber and out in the community).

Cllr. Trudy Dean (Lib Dem): "…" (Chair of the Liberal Democrat group on Kent County Council and was instrumental in ensuring that Kent CC were one of the first local authorities to ban base stations from council property).

Ms Ingrid Dickenson (Mast Sanity - Director of Scientific Studies): "The Freiburger Appeal, which has now been circulated in the majority of European countries and has attracted the signatures of over 1000 medical professionals, sets out a considerable list of ill health effects that those professional state they have noticed within their patients. It is therefore time that governments took note and acted upon these serious concerns." (With a background in alternative healing she has tireless campaigned on the question of base stations since the mid 1990's, and is unquestionably an expert on emissions and the effects on the health of humans, animals and plants).

Mr Locongo (Free Congo): "…" (Mr Locongo campaigns for the rights of his fellow countrymen in the Congo, due to their exploitation of minerals which are a vital component of mobile phones).

Dr Grahame Blackwell (Starweave): "We are delighted in the Westcountry because people have
been prepared to stand up and say: 'No, we are not going to accept these masts willy nilly'. I am grateful to all those people who have united to fight against these mast applications. Devon has led the way in fighting the new Tetra police communications system, which has been delayed by two years in Devon and Cornwall due to the amount of opposition to plans for the hundreds of masts needed to operate it."
(Dr Blackwell has long campaigned on the TETRA issue talking to communities and local authorities across the UK, and has particularly fought to prevent the destruction of national parks by the installation of inappropriately sited installations).

Chris Maile (Chair Mast Sanity): "Up to 50% of all base stations are installed by processes that do not involve the local planning authority. The majority of local authorities fail to take health into account despite several court orders saying they must. The problem does not lie with Tony Blair, but with John Prescott as the Secretary of State, therefore I urge all local communities to lobby Two Jags until he finally starts putting the concerns of the public before big business". (Chris is a long haul green activist, and acts as the campaigns planning consultant, advising local communities how to get through the maze of planning legislation)

As well as many representatives of local community groups, who highlighted the adverse effects the installations were having on the health of their communities.

A delegation headed by Mast Sanity Lisa Oldham delivered a document setting out the many concerns of the mast movement, which had been drafted in consultation with the 900 local community groups that make up Mast Sanity (copy on request, fax or email).

END.

EDITORS NOTE: Media Office

<TOP>

EMBARGOED UNTIL 2.30pm 8th MARCH 2003

MAST SANITY STATEMENT TO THE PRIME MINISTER

A delegation will be handing a statement to 10 Downing Street as part of the National Phone Mast Rally and March taking place on the 8th March. The delegation will be headed by Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham and will include members of community groups from around the regions. The statement (copy attached) sets out a number of issues that communities right across the UK and Northern Ireland consider should be implemented without further delay.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "The Government have consistently ignored the views of local communities over that of the interests of big business, yet when a phone mast was to be installed within the constituency of Tony Blair he personally intervened to ensure permission was not granted. Which sends out a clear message that it is one rule for Tony Blair and another for the rest of the UK. Let us at last see justice, and a system that is fair to all those affected".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "The planning system is being totally discredited by the abuses that are taking place with the installation of phone masts, we have cases of unlawful developments being installed on a daily basis, 10,000's of installations being installed without being referred to the local planning authority, thereby destroying any pretence at having an ordered role-out, or controls over inappropriately sited installations. Therefore the time for action to redress these imbalances has now more than passed, it is therefore time for the Government to either take action, or face the consequences of the lawfulness of these inappropriately sited masts being debated in the courts, and through the ballot box".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: There will be opportunities for the media to interview speakers and campaign activists, as well as accompanying the delegation to Downing Street. Please phone the media office for details. Media Office 0161 427 7977; Helpline 08704 322 279 (local call rate). Please book any studio or phone interviews by Friday 7th March as the media office will be closed over the weekend of the 8th March.

To the Prime Minister

There is at present considerable and growing concern amongst the public and local authorities regarding the planning process for telecommunication installations by the system operators. There are many thousands of installations being erected without first being considered by local planning authorities and without any form of consultation with members of the public, either statutory or by the process agreed by the telecommunication system operators. Included within these installations that are not considered by the local planning authorities, which Mast Sanity and its members want rectifying immediately, are:

. Installations that are less than 4 metres higher than the building that they are erected on. One operator alone has contracted an agent to find and install up to 4000 such installations;

· Installations that are said to be de-minimus, and/or 'small antenna', which accounts for an increasing number of installations, and can be found in display signs at such premises as 'Shell' and 'McDonald', within street lamps, imitation burglar alarms and other locations;

· Those approved by the Church of England and other denominations under church legislation;

· Those being installed by Rail Track (4000 plus) under legislation that was intended for the implementation of vital rail equipment such as signalling equipment;

· Those installations being approved by default under the 56 day rule when they have been refused by the local authority. This can lead to great resentment by local communities that have successfully argued against the individual application only to find their justified concerns being overturned by an inappropriate regulation.

We further call upon the Government to implement legislation that will allow all applications to be transparent and unified and that applications are considered by reference to Article 130R of the Masstrict Treaty (Precautionary Principle). This will allow local planning authorities, telecommunication system operators, and local communities to know with certainty the types of sites and localities that installations should (or should not) be considered for approval.

In particular we call upon the UK Government to implement the following provisions:

  • The strong concerns of local communities on real and perceived health effects are fully taken into account within each stage of the decision making process;
  • That there be a single process for deciding all installations which allows the full participation of local communities affected by the procedure;
  • That all installations approved under the process known as 'Licence Notification' (no application for either prior approval or full planning permission) be revoked;
  • That all installations on church property are decided by the civil planning authorities;
  • That those installations being installed or proposed to be installed by Rail Track be decided under the same process as other forms of telecommunication installations, and not under Part 17 of the General Permitted Development Order;
  • That all TETRA installations are only approved after obtaining advise from the Environmental Health Department, and then only after that department has undertaken a vigorous assessment of the potential risk to the specific locality that will become the catchment area for that installation. As well as giving the greatest of considerations to the real and perceived health concerns of the communities affected;
  • That guidance is given to enabling greater use of the existing process under s97 and s102 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, for the revocation of permission, or the discontinuance of the use of a site for telecommunication purposes, in order to enable the removal of those installations in sensitive locations including inter-alia when the statutory rights of individual members of the public are adversely affected by those installations;
  • That a commitment is given that the criteria or guidelines on emission levels should be adjusted to take into account the biological effect of emissions;
  • That, in the interim as an initial precautionary step, emissions level
    limits more stringent than those already adopted in certain EEA States
    (namely Switzerland and Luxembourg) should be established and applied
    immediately on an aggregate basis to all existing and planned
    telecommunications installations;
  • Guidance on emission levels is clarified in keeping with the findings of the court that each application must be considered on its merits, and that to ignore the concerns of the public on health fears due to the projected emission levels not being exceeded would be to fetter the ability of the decision maker to take those concerns fully into account;
  • That nursery schools be included within the requirement for consultation by telecommunication system operators with school governing bodies prior to submitting applications;
  • That the recommendation of the Stewart Report that no beam of greatest intensity should fall on any part of a school grounds be implemented;
  • That the Government bring into being as a further precautionary measure an exclusion zone similar to that operating in parts of Spain, that is that no installation should be within a set boundary of an urban area and/or relevant sensitive areas and that any existing installation should be relocated to comply with such criteria;
  • That all new applications should be accompanied by a certificate of public liability insurance which includes cover for the risk of emissions affecting the health of the public, and further that all existing installations should be revoked if no such certificate is provided within 6 months of implementation of any such requirement;
  • Seek relocation on a priority basis, for those masts which have been installed in sensitive locations under permitted development rights, often against local authority wishes by inappropriate use of the 56 day determination rule;
  • That the Government allocate a far greater share of the licence fees it receives (both from the fees received from the 3G licences and future licence fees) towards research into the effects of mobile telecommunication systems and emergency service radio systems,such contribution being a minimum of 10% of such licence fees, coupled to a requirementthat a similar sum be contributed bythe relevant licensee.

We wish to point out to the Government that the 10 commitments, that the industry and its governing body orchestrated, are not being adhered to and certainly not in the way that the word “consultation” implies.

Far too many people are now concerned about the actual and potential adverse health effects from mobile phone masts. At present the existing database of antennae sites is not obligatory. As such many antennae are not included on the database in particular small antennae that have not gone through the normal planning process and hidden/disguised installations. A vast number of people are now using the sitefinder website to check locations within their areas and also within areas that they are considering moving or sending their children to school. Currently the information they see is not guaranteed to be correct and therefore is misleading. People with concerns have a right to make decisions based on full and complete facts. Because of the complete failure of the telecommunications operators to provide this information willingly, we call on the government to make a public national record of ALL installations a legal obligation by the operators. This information should be freely available in a usable format, which replaces the very restrictive capabilities of the existing sitefinder website.

It is a fact that the values of people's homes are dropping considerably when antennae are installed close to their homes. This is not only because of visual intrusion but also as awareness increases, many people will not buy, or are reluctant to buy, homes close to installations because of the actual and perceived threat to health. This is making many homes not just reduced in value (by up to 25%) but many become totally unsaleable. We believe it is time that the Government not only acknowledged this clearly demonstrated and well documented effect, but also put in place a compensation package to allow those affected to maintain their quality of life or to move away and retain their investment.

We further request that the Government begin to hold regular meetings with public interest groups in order to gain feedback on any improvements that could be applied to legislation or rules governing the implementation and roll out of telecommunication and public service systems.

THE ORIGINAL OF THIS DOCUMENT HAS/WILL BE DELIVERED TO DOWNING STREET ON SATURDAY 8th MARCH AND HAS BEEN SIGNED BY


Chris Maile - Chair Mast Sanity Lisa Oldham - Director Mast Sanity

Mast Sanity represents over 900 local community groups concerned at the insensitive siting of telecommunication installations within their communities. This document has been compiled in consultation with those community groups.

<TOP>

For immediate release - 28th February 2003

INTEREST GROWS IN NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY

The largest Mast Rally the UK has ever seen is to take place on the 8th March. This will bring local residents, campaign activists, environmentalists and politicians together to give a simple but united message. We want fair treatment given to local residents concerns on the health issues. We also want the opportunity given to the public to participate in the decision making process. This is not currently permitted in up to 50% of all telecommunication installations.

Rally organiser, and Chair of Mast Sanity Chris Maile said, "This rally will bring together communities from all the English regions, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, all with the same simple message, give local communities a fair say on phone mast installations. One company alone is putting up 4000 installations without permission being applied for, Rail Track are putting up over 3500 masts with no application for permission. Other companies are putting up unlawful developments knowing that it is rare for enforcement action to be taken against them, therefore the message is give local residents a fair say BEFORE masts are installed".

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham continued, "The primary concern of local communities is the potential health effects of these installations but the Government continues to ignore those concerns. We hope that the rally will demonstrate the concerns of the individuals taking part, and the range of communities that they represent. All are asking the same questions, why has the Government allowed the roll-out of these systems before research into the long term effects have been carried out? Why is the Government continuing to force this roll out having finally agreed to research that is now being undertaken but is far from complete? Why does the Government continue to ignore widespread scientific unease ot the authorities insistence on the use of guidelines that are 10 years out of date?"

Speakers at the rally include Dr Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party); Dr Ian Gibson MP (Labour); Cllr Trudy Dean (Lib Dem); Cllr. Pat Mcginn (Sinn Fein); Dr Graham Blackwell; Ingrid Dickenson; Dr Alasdair Philips; Chris Maile; George McGlashan; Mr Locongo; Dr Gerald Hyland and Barry Trower are also expected to address the rally.

The basic agenda is rally starts to congregate in North Parade (Hyde Park) at 12 noon, the march heads off at 1.30pm, and arrives at Trafalgar Square at 2.30pm, when a delegation lead by Lisa Oldham will head off to hand in a statement to 10 Downing Street, speeches will be in Trafalgar Square.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: There will be opportunities for the media to interview speakers and campaign activists, as well as accompanying the delegation to Downing Street. Please phone the media office for details. Media Office ***; Office 0161 959 0999; Helpline 08704 322 279 (local call rate). Please book any studio or phone interviews by Friday 7th March as the media office will be closed over the weekend of the 8th March.

<TOP>

For immediate release – 20th February 2003

MAST CAMPAIGN ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF DELIBERATELY MISLEADING PUBLIC

The Governments test results of emission levels close to schools and hospitals has been slammed as a cynical attempt by the Government to mislead the public over the safety of phone masts. Current guidelines are based upon the ICNIRP guidelines, guidelines that were put in place over 10 years ago, and which do not take into account the biological effects of emissions and recent research that demonstrates that there is a potential risk.

Mast Sanity set out the finding in the following way:

ICNIRP guidelines measure electrical output from the masts, and how the emissions heat skin tissues, effectively cooking the body, whereas the biological effects involve changes in a number of the bodies physical systems including hormone levels and chromosonal structure. First we have to ask are the ICNIRP safety levels really safe? The answer that comes back is - no one really knows. No one is able to state that there is no risk from emissions within the ICNIRP guidelines. A whole can of worms is opened when we start to consider the biological consequences, which have only recently started to be researched. The implication of the release of these test results is that they have finally proved that phone masts are safe, whereas in reality all they show is that at the moment in time when the measurements were taken the emissions did not exceed the ICNIRP guidelines, and that is a far cry from stating that phone masts are safe.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said: "There have been numerous research reports published – the latest 3 weeks ago. The majority of these have demonstrated that we are correct in continuing to be concerned about the consequences of mobile phone technology. All these findings have been ignored by the Government. The ICNIRP guidelines themselves are 10 years old and the majority of research finding biological consequences has been produced since these guidelines came into force. None of the effects that have come through these independent research results have been taken forward in adjustments to ICNIRP. It is clearly time for the Government to start being honest, as their own Advisor Prof. Lawrie Challis has been recently (see below) and admit that they do not know what the public health implications of this constantly changing technology is going to be. It is only when Government starts to be honest with everyone that people will start to believe what they say”.

Prof Lawrie Challis taken from a letter dated the 28th January 2003, "It is of course not possible to say that a new technology like this one is totally without a health risk. In the case of masts we do have some experience since many people have been exposed to emissions from radio and TV transmitters. However we still do not know everything we should like to know about possible biological or even adverse health effects from them". Prof. Challis is Chair of the Mobile Telecommunications & Health Research Programme which is effectively the Governments chief advisory group on Mobile Phones.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "What far too often is ignored in these types of debates is not the actual health effects, but the stress caused by not knowing, especially as we have seen far too often the Government state that they know of no risk, only to have to retract after serious problems are discovered. It is that uncertainty that affects those who raise concerns, most of whom are parents, not concerned about their own health, but that of their children. We take the view that if only one child is at risk from this technology, then that is a risk too great, especially for the parents concerned, and when that is transferred to not knowing, then every parent is going to show concerns, because they will not know if it is their child that is the child at risk. So enough of playing down the risks, let us see real action on preventing those at greatest risk from actually being at risk, by having a moratorium on phone masts close to schools and hospitals".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on ** or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999.

NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY -LONDON

8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER

LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PHONE MAST RALLY

<TOP>

For immediate release - 14th February 2003

HIGH COURT DECISION COULD MAKE 1000's OF PHONE MASTS UNLAWFUL

Mr Justice Sullivan in a landmark ruling has found that a mast that exceeds 15 metres under permitted development rights is unlawful. 1000's of similar installations have been erected, therefore they have overnight effectively become unlawful developments that local planning authorities can order there removal.

The case by the London Borough of Wandsworth against phone operator 02 means that the development must be removed. The case relates to the wording of Part 24 A.1(a) of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2001, which allows a mast 15 metres or less to past through a fast track planning process known as prior approval, most of these installations were installed with a headgear that had antenna attached to them, the headgear exceeded the mast by 2.6metres, whilst the law allowed for the antenna to exceed the height it did not allow the head gear to exceed 15 metres.

Chair of Mast Sanity Chris Maile who is also their expert on planning issues said "This ruling has come out of the blue, and has taken both industry and the campaign network by surprise, our own advise given out in the last two years has mirrored that of the phone operators. However, the judgement has made a clear distinction between the antenna and the headgear making many masts unlawful, including several controversial installations. This will be very good news indeed for many local communities who can start the process of seeking enforcement action to have the masts removed".

Mast Sanity has compiled a standard letter for local communities to send to their local planners requesting enforcement action this is available from the Planning Sanity WEB site at www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/15m.doc , or local communities wanting to know if an installation is unlawful can phone our helpline 0161 959 0999.

MORE LEGAL CHALLENGES ON THE CARDS

Mast Sanity is holding talks with communities right across the UK in order that a legal challenge can be made to the growing number of 'loophole' installations. These include those in Shell garages, McDonalds, Street Lamps, Rail Track installations, those on roofs of building that are less than 4 metres high, as well as those where the LPA have inadvertently failed to inform the phone operator of a refusal before the expiry of the 56 day brick wall time limit expires.

Chris said "These types of installations cause the public the greatest stress because they all by-pass the ability of local residents to object, and that is not only morally wrong but also contrary to human rights. Mast Sanity are therefore inviting local community groups to contact us so that we can consider whether they are suitable for inclusion in the cases being taken forward. We are also asking the public to make donations towards the legal fund".

Inquiries can be made to our helpline or to our information kiosk that will be at the Mast Rally on the 8th March.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on ** or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999.

NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON - HYDE PARK CORNER

LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 14th February 2003

CROWN BREAK LAW WITH IMPUNITY

There was outrage by local residents in Gloucestershire today as Police Phone Operators 02 set out to flout the law by installing a temporary phone mast without planning permission and then informing local planners that they are barred from taking enforcement action as the installation is on 'Crown Land'.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said: "It is clear that there is one law for the public and another for the Government and large conglomerates. That is wrong in law and morally, we therefore need to have a statement at Minister level setting out the unacceptability of this deliberate breaking of the law. The public are being denied the opportunity to comment, thereby making a mockery of the whole planning system that has finally been shown to be nothing more than a sham. It is made an even a greater sham because it is with the apparent blessing of the Government, as the block on enforcement action being taken is being made in their name".

Mast Sanity is calling on the Forestry Commission to order that the unlawful development on their land should immediately cease, and that the land should be reinstated to its original condition, and that no further work on the installation should take place until after the planning committee have determined the application.

Moves are being put in place to challenge a whole raft of loopholes being exploited by the phone operators to put up installations without planning permission, this challenge will in all probability be filed in the High Court within the next month. This challenge will be by a Class Action involving local communities right across the UK.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said: "Big business should be obliged to follow the law in the same way as ordinary members of the public. Unfortunately we repeatedly hear of phone mast operators being prepared to flout the law. They made much of the so-called 10 commitments, promising to always consult on every application, however this is yet another example of blatant disregard for those commitments which demonstrates that they only use this process when it suits them. They should start being honest, commit to the law, and the processes involved, or risk the destruction of what little credit the planning system and the Government has left".

END.

EDITORS NOTES

The installation in question is in the Gloucestershire village of Pillowell, in the Forest of Dean Council area, the unlawful development started over the weekend prior to any planning application being submitted.

For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on ** or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999.

NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY -LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER

LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 8th February 2003

RAIL TRACK FLOUT PLANNING LAW BY SLIGHT OF HAND

Mast Sanity has accused Rail Track of running along a very thin rail by being very inventive with the wording of legislation intended to allow the rail network to install equipment needed for the 'movement of rail traffic' to install their new internal phone network, which consists of 1000s of 33 metre high phone masts, without first applying to the LPA for planning permission.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "This must be the most blatant of all the loopholes that are being used to abuse the planning system, and is contrary to every piece of planning legislation that requires applications for the installation of phone masts above 15 metres to have full planning permission. This type of abuse discredits the entire planning system, denies the required control over development on, or close to sensitive locations, and potentially runs foul of Human Rights legislation, as local residents affected by the installations are denied an opportunity to comment".

Mast Sanity are presently seeking legal advise with a view of taking forward a test case on these rail track installations as well as other installations that are approved through loopholes that bypass the local planning authorities. And are encouraging local communities to contact us on 0161 959 0999 if they have an installation that they feel has bypassed the local decision makers, or been refused by the LPA only to have the decision subsequently overturned under the 56 day rule.

Mast Sanity has published a briefing on the Rail Track proposals, which can be downloaded from www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/railtrack.doc. The Rail Track proposals now accounts for one in ten of the inquiries to our helpline, and is clearly becoming as controversial as the TETRA system. Concerns not only relate to the abuse of the system, and the lack of public input, but also to whether the installations once in place will be used by mobile phone operators, permission on existing installations would enable permission to be obtained much easier than for new sites.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. A full briefing on the proposed legal challenge is available on request. However, names of litigants will remain confidential until the lodging of any legal challenge. The Rail Track document can be downloaded from http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/prdcrev/whole.pdf. The Mast Sanity briefing sets out the legal aspects of Rail Tracks by passing of the local planning procedures (see link in body of media release).

NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER

LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 4th February 2003

GOVERNMENT HIDE PHONE MAST PAYBACK

Mast campaigners have discovered that the Government has bailed out Mobile Phone Operators by reimbursing them up to one third of their £22.5billion licence fees. The powerful Parliamentary watchdog the Public Expenditure Committee have already raised concerns about the level of costs to the tax payer of implementing the new Police emergency radio system 'TETRA', which has doubled since the start of the roll out.

Mast Sanity Chair, Chris Maile said: "Clearly the whole mobile communication programme is becoming an expensive white elephant that is ending up as a major drain on public finance, whilst more deserving public sectors go without. Why is it that major companies that make £billions in profits every year can receive a 33% rise in state handouts, whilst the Fire Fighters are denied a reasonable increase for a job that sees them put their lives at risk for every single working day. Or the health service that is denied funds needed for treating such illnesses as cancer, which could be caused by the very technology that is denying them additional funds".

Mast Sanity demands that Ministers come clean and state what funds are being put into mobile phone technology, how much they are putting into the pockets of the operators, compared to research into the adverse health effects of the technology.

RESEARCH DEMONSTRATES "MOBILE PHONES FRY RATS BRAINS"

Swedish research headed by neurosurgeon Leif Salford has demonstrated that radiation emitted from GSM phones (mobile phones) damaged young rats brains, with the greater the exposure levels the greater he damage caused to the animals. It is reported that the study's authors said the situation of the growing brain might deserve special concern, since biological and maturational processes are particularly vulnerable.

The report is quoted as saying "We cannot exclude that after some decades of often daily use, a whole generation of users may suffer negative effects as early as middle age". The researchers further claimed that the age group of the rodents tested is equivalent to that of human teenagers.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "Over and over again we see the publication of reports saying that there is a biological effect caused to living tissue from the use of mobile phone technology, we rarely see any official comment on the biological effects, although we are constantly quoted out of date research on the heating effects of mobile phones. ICNIRP guidelines that planners are encouraged to abide by as a health trigger, are over ten years out of date and do not take into account any biological consideration, it is clear that the time has passed when these biological research papers can continue to be ignored".

For the full story see article on VUNET.COM - http://www.computeractive.co.uk/News/1138432

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. For info on the Freiburger Appeal go to http://www.mastsanity.org/Documents/Freiburger.htm


NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST protest

<TOP>

For immediate release - 24th January 2003

MOBILE PHONES THE NEW PORN 'SHOP'

The Department of health has warned on health grounds that young children's use of mobile phones should be restricted, is now not time for the Culture and Education Minister's to issue similar warnings on the use of phones by children due to the real concerns that children whilst using mobile phones should not be swamped with porn. Already reports are indicating the existing Japanese users of the new photo phones are secretly taking pornographic pictures of children in public facilities such as sports facilities and swimming pools. And now with the news that Phone Operators are to actively sell porn over mobile phones then it is clearly time for clarity at Minister level as to whether the Government will legislate to ban such usage.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "Mast Sanity asks the question 'when' will Charles Clarke take the bull by the horn in protecting our children and ban mobile phones from school premises, and why has Tessa Jowell not stood up and advised public and private sports facilities of the dangers of these innocent looking cameras in our sports changing rooms that could be used by both children and paedophiles. The Government in selling the licences have gained £22.5billion, as the greatest profit makers they have the greatest responsibility, let then start taking that responsibility today in a positive action to protect our children".

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "Computer users are bombarded by porn, if this is allowed to spill over onto mobile phones then there will be little way in which our children will be able to be protected, therefore there is only one course of action a totally ban on the distribution of porn via mobile phones. The whole issue is further compounded by the churches who are queuing up to grab the cash on offer to site mobile phones on church property, and in doing so effectively condoning the distribution of porn, then it is little wonder why the Government is sitting idly by. The Church of England may as well open up their doors to the holding of pornographic movies in their crypts. Can it not be said that by siting mobile phones on church property they effectively become porn distributors".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: Churches are paid up to £10,000 for every mast they site on their property. Phone companies are reported as having applied to gain porn distribution licences, and then to have the capacity for selling on sub licences to the porn industry. Whilst mobile phone cameras that can take pictures and then automatically distribute them to the internet are being reportedly widely used in Japan for taking pictures of innocent children unbeknown to their parents in public sports facilities.

For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on 0161 427 7977 or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. For info on the Freiburger Appeal go to http://www.mastsanity.org/Documents/Freiburger.htm


NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON

8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER

LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 16th January 2003

CHILDRENS HOSPITAL MAST SHOCKS LOCAL COMMUNITY

Local residents and parents of patients at the Manchester Royal Childrens Hospital are furious to discover that a phone mast was erected in 1995 next to the Children's Cancer Unit. The phone mast which had an update approved in 2001 is operated by Orange.

Mast Sanity has pledged its full support to helping local residents and parents of patients in ensuring that this mast is removed. And has today written on behalf of parents and patients to Salfords Planners requesting that they implement their powers under Section 102 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 to resolve that the site should no loner be used for telecommunication installations. As well as resolving to make an Article 4 Direction under the Town & Country Planning (Permitted Development Order) 1995 that the site is not a site where future telecommunications installations should be approved.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile who's grand children have been patients at the hospital said "This is the most inappropriate site that I have ever heard of. Lord Falconer when he was the Planning Minister said that no mast should be approved within a 100 metres of a school grounds. Major concerns have been raised by over 300 doctors and other medical professional in the Freiburger Appeal of concerns of the health of children. Sir William Stewart expressed major concerns on the potential health effect on children. And Dr De pomerai of Nottingham University through his research has found that phone mast emissions increase the rate at which cancer cells replicate. All of this is clear this installation should be immediately turned off and the use of the site for that purpose discontinued".

Mast Sanity and mother of 3 Lisa Oldham said "Mast Sanity will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure this installation is removed. The health of the patients must be top priority, we therefore call on local MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health Hazel Blears to take urgent action, in support of her constituents to ensure this mast is removed."

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on 0161 427 7977 or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. For info on the Freiburger Appeal go to http://www.mastsanity.org/Documents/Freiburger.htm


NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 15th January 2003

PROTESTERS CHALK UP MAJOR VICTORY AS POLICE FORCE PUTS TETRA ON HOLD

Celebrations were taking place tonight at the Mast Sanity head quarters as Devon and Cornwall admitted that protesters had scored at major victory forcing them to put the planned TETRA system on hold for 2 years. Mast Sanity the national campaign group are now urging local communities across the UK to put the pressure on to ensure that other areas take similar decisions as well as urging that this untried unsafe system is admitted to be a white elephant and totally rejected.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "This is very good news and yet again demonstrates that when local residents band together they can make a real difference. This system has never been demonstrated as being safe, yet the Government committed £3billion to its implementation, money that could have been spent on putting more police on the beat, improving our hospitals, schools and other hard pressed institutions that are under funded".

Lisa Added "I would just like to take this opportunity of thanking all those local communities that have stood up to the system that was hell bent on rolling out such a risky system, but would urge them not o get complacent, to carry on the fight, and to show solidarity by taking part in the UKs biggest ever phone mast rally on the 8th March in London".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "Now is the time to knock the nail into the coffin, let everyone right across the UK who is saying no to this system to stand up with a single voice and say no. Let every application on every insensitive site be opposed to the best of that communities ability, the communities of Devon and Cornwall have shown us the way, let us now take the bull by the horn and charge this system into the history books. Help for local communities is readily available from Mast Sanity, both from our WEB site www.mastsanity.org and from our helpline 0161 959 0999 requesting our free information pack".

If a two year delay in implementing the system can be announced then no longer can the Operator 02 claim that it is important to rush these installations through. Therefore, a moratorium on the further expansion of the system should be ordered until research results are known. That is the sensible way forward, rather than subjecting thousands of local communities to misery and stress implementing a system that has not been demonstrated to be safe, and which has resulted in hundreds of serving police officers reporting ill as a result of the handsets. Or will we have to wait until police officers are admitted to hospital before action is taken. Whilst the Government is set to spend £billions on a war in Iraq, they are also prepared to spend even more on implementing a system that could see as many serious injuries as will be inflicted by that war being inflicted on our own police force.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. For more Info on TETRA go to our TETRA Forum www.mastsanity.org/Tetra/TETRA1.htm


NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON -HYDE PARK CORNER LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

For immediate release - 20th December 2002

GOVERNMENT PUBLIC FINANCE COMMITTEE SLAM COST OF 'TETRA' (Airwave)

A powerful Government Committee has published a damming report on the cost to the taxpayer of the roll-out of the new Police radio system TETRA (Airwave). They say that the cost of the system will be double the original estimates, from £1.5billion to in excess of £3billion. The report concludes that, "Airwave might be more sophisticated and expensive than it really needs to be …… It is significant that individual police authorities and the fire service cited the cost of Airwave as their reason for being unwilling to subscribe to it ….. The remedies available to the Home Office if the system does not work will not fully compensate police forces for the disruption and operational risks that would inevitably follow".

The question has to be asked - are the Home Office misleading the public on the question of the issue of the health of Police Officers? A letter received by Mast Sanity from the Home Office, whilst not specifically admitting that there is a health risk to Officers, takes great pains NOT to deny such a risk. This when compared to the evidence of Home Office officials when answering questions put to them by the Committee, who again do not deny that some officers have complained of illnesses that they contribute to these radios (see note below).CHRis this last sentence doesn’t make sense… don’t know what you are trying tosay at all… is it the fact that the 2 separate points shows that they def do not deny a helath risk.The report also states that there are still problems knowing whether the system can be used in Major Cities, after the system was found not to work in parts of Manchester. They will not know whether it will work in these areas for another 2 years.

It is clear from the report, and the questions that many of the Committee were asking, that they were not happy with the high cost, the profit margins and the lack of financial benefit to UK Tax payers, as a result of no profits, if the system is sold off. They were not very happy at the unproven nature of the system, and whether it actually gave value for money in terms of police resources as well as the fact that health and safety issues had not been factored into the costing.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "The report shows that despite many reservations, the Home Office is hell bent on pushing ahead with a system that is proving very costly, has not been proven to be capable of delivering the service that it is intended for, and has serious health implications for the users. Whilst questions were not raised relating to the effect on sensitive electronic equipment, concerns are still being raised by the Medical Devices Agencies that TETRA handsets interfere with life saving and other medical equipment. It is surely time that sanity ruled the day and that this system is put on hold until these very serious issues are resolved".

Mast Sanity Director, Lisa Oldham, said "It has been reported that over 200 Police Officers have suffered illness as a direct result of the use of TETRA handsets. Yet as this report demonstrates there is no user base that enables a proper research study to take place on real people. All of the statements on the potential health risk relate to laboratory studies and therefore we must ask the question, just how many of our police officers have to report ill before a stop is put to the use of ordinary police officers being used as guinea pigs, whilst attempting to do their work protecting the public?"

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For further information Tel: or 0161 959 0999 (Helpline)

See House of Commons Public Accounts Committees 64th Report

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmpubacc/783/78302.htm

The following is a series of questions and answers taking from the minutes of the Committee that relate to the health issue.

Mr Richard Bacon - M.P. is asking the questions

Mr Asque is from the Science and Technology Unit, at the Home Office

240. How many policemen have complained that their radios are making them ill?
(Mr Asque) A number of people have expressed concerns on the health issues.

241. How many?
(Mr Asque) The numbers are not fed directly to us. We get representations from the Police Federation, which we have been in contact with, answering the concerns on behalf of their members. We have not dealt directly with policemen.

242. I am looking at a letter in the police magazine from March 2002 from a Mr Nigel Wood from Lancashire who writes that he knows personally of new cases of skin problems, sleeplessness, migraines, depression, difficulty in concentrating and headaches. In the December 2001 issue there is reference to TETRA causing a variety of things including potentially heart and blood disorders, affecting the brain electro-chemistry, increasing the risk of leukaemia and so on. What is the current state of play on the health research?
(Mr Asque) The current state is that we are addressing all of the recommendations which were made in the report you referred to. A list of recommendations was drawn up and we have research projects going on all of those recommendations, addressing them in great detail.

243. Do the research projects have people wearing these things and making them operate and then checking out whether they get migraine or depression or whether they lose concentration?
(Mr Asque) Projects are being developed which will have that sort of aspect. At the moment we do not have a user base. We are in negotiation with one of the police forces which has offered to participate in a trial of that order, but it has not started yet.

244. That was July 2001. It is now April 2002 and you have just said that at the moment you do not have a user base. Do you not have people you can test this on?
(Mr Asque) The issue is that there is no proof that there are any of these effects.

245. I did not say there was. Nine months after that July 2001 report and a more recent report you say you do not have a user base, you do not have a bunch of people on whom you can test it specifically not relating to operability or interoperability but specifically relating to health. Is that correct? You do not have a user base of such people?
(Mr Asque) The Airwave service is only now being rolled out. We have done work in the laboratory, we have done a lot of experimental work in the laboratory prior to the final trial which we are doing as part of a health programme which is not directly led by the Home Office. It is part of the mobile phone research.

246. Are you responsible for the Home Office's input into health and safety on these issues?
(Mr Asque) Yes, we are and we are feeding into the wider programmes because we have more users involved and a wider base of information.

247. But you do not have a user base at the moment.
(Mr Asque) We have had discussions with one police force who are going to collaborate with us.

248. You have had discussions. I am just amazed. It was 1998 when you had the first review on effectiveness. Three years later you had a review on health safety specifically because of these concerns. Not quite a year later, but nearly a year later, you still do not have people to testify. Why not?
(Mr Asque) There are two issues here. We have to have people using the system. At the moment we have a trial system and now we are starting operational use. We also have to have a research programme in which we have to agree how we measure this. This is very subjective. People will have concerns about this; it is a very emotive topic —

249. These policemen are complaining about headaches and so on. You are in charge of health and safety. Have you thought of going along, getting on a train, going up to Manchester, participating, using it yourself and seeing whether you get headaches? It would be a quick way to move the thing forward, would it not?
(Mr Asque) It would, but I suffer from headaches for all sorts of reasons and I cannot say whether it is due to using that handset or not. We need proper scientific trials to analyse these things because a lot of these things are so subjective.

250. I am just amazed you have not started yet.
(Mr Gieve) Vaughan is referring to a particular monitoring programme we are setting up with the forces which are starting to use Airwave. We actually have a whole programme of research, most of which has started, on the effects on rat brains and lots of biological stuff to try to find out whether, as has been alleged, features of this technology do have effects on animals and on biology. So far there is no reason to think they do.
(Mr Parris) We take health and safety very, very seriously. The Airwave service operates within national and international guidelines which are laid down after years of research. Sure, more research is going on and it is absolutely right and proper that it should go on.

Chairman - Mr Edward Leigh M.P.

264. If the research you are undertaking led to a belief or suspicion that the technology could be a health hazard, what effect would that have on the contract?
(Mr Gieve) If there were evidence that this was damaging to health, then we would have to change it. First of all the police authorities as employers would have their obligations under health and safety. Secondly, O2 as suppliers of the technology have to meet all health standards, which they currently do. If research led us to change those health standards because of new science, then we would have to change the system.

<TOP>

For immediate release - 18th December 2002

GLASGOW MUMS IN BRAZIER PHONE MAST PROTEST

Mums from one of the poorest areas of Glasgow have set up a daily vigil at a proposed phone mast site that will be close to their homes and local schools. The mums who are taking it in turn to mount watch on the site warming them selves around a brazier whilst others do their Christmas shopping are determined to stick it out to the bitter end in order to protect their children from the potential dangers that the proposed installation has for their young families. Mast Sanity is happy to lend support to this valient group of young mothers that are prepared to stand up and be counted to protect the children in their community from the hazards thought to be associated with phone masts.

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director, and herselve an activists that has taken part in vigils to prevent local phone masts in Stockport from being erected said "This community has been ignored by the phone company who have according to local residents admitted to them that they have not undertaken a primary element of their own code of conduct by failing to consult with local residents.This alleged failure demonstrates the disregard that the Phone Operators quite often have for the communities that must live with the misery that these installations bring. My heart goes out to them and will be with them all the way in spirit, even if I cannot be physically standing by their sides".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "Non violent Direct Action has a long and noble history in the UK, and the actions of these mothers in standing up for their rights must be apploaded by all concerned. Sometimes local communities need to take drastic action to ensure that their voices are heard, and taking to the streets in lawful protest is one of the time honoured ways to achieve local justice. Mast Sanity supports their peaceful actions 100%".

As we go to press it is being reported that local mums are openly saying that if the authorities cannot protect their families from the risks associated with the masts, then they will continue with their protest until they are arrested, stating that they would rather risk prison than put the health of their children in danger.

In the view of Mast Sanity it does not matter whether there is or is not a health risk from these installations, what is important is real fear that these residents have that their children's health will be put at risk, and it is now time for the Scottish administration to step in and ensure that this mast and others in sensitive locations are reconsidered after taking proper account of the residents concerns.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: The site of this protest is the East End of Glasgow Water Tower. The Phone Operator Concerned is 3 (Formally HG3).

Further info from our Media Office our helpline 0161 959 0999. Members of the public needing advise on phone mast installations can call the helpline number which can be used in publications - Assistance can also be obtained from our WEB site www.mastsanity.org

<TOP>

For immediate release -11th December 2002

SHELL TO TAKE MAST DOWN AFTER RESIDENTS BOYCOTT GARAGE

Shell UK have agreed to remove one of the hundreds of phone masts hidden in signs on garage forecourts after local residents organised a boycott of the garage. Now other campaigns nationwide are preparing similar tactics to see their local masts removed.

The mast at a Shell garage in Exmouth was one of those highlighted by the national media earlier this year which had been installed without going through the local planning process and without local residents being aware that it had been installed. Local residents are now keen to praise the actions of Shell in responding quickly to their concerns, and have called off a proposed picket that was due to take place on Saturday.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "This is brilliant news for local residents. Their hard work in campaigning for this mast to be removed demonstrates that companies that have masts sited on their property, also need to maintain a public image. Drawing this to the wider public’s attention is therefore a worthwhile exercise as it highlights the power of community campaigning and the willingness of these companies to work with the community when feelings are shown to be strong. It’s a shame we cannot convince the operators to do the same. Now we look forward to the remaining 199 Shell masts being removed and urge every local community to start similar campaigns, until every single mast is removed".

Mast Sanity is able to help local communities through support mechanisms to campaign for the removal of masts, as well as help them through the planning maze to prevent inappropriately sited masts being approved. The Mast Sanity WEB site www.mastsanity.org has a range of resources, our helpline is open Mon to Fri 11am to 8pm 0161 959 0999.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "From little acorns big oak trees grow - the removal of this mast demonstrates what dedicated local communities can achieve with limited resources, even when pitted against the vast resources of multi-nationals such as Shell. We at Mast Sanity take our hats off to this local community, who have clearly demonstrated that hard work by a handful of people really can pay dividends. Shell should now accept that allowing these masts on their premises is NOT acceptable to the public and agree to the removal of all such installations. We also urge other companies such as Texaco and McDonalds to follow suit, as well as the thousands of smaller businesses, and local authorities, that allow installations on their property. It is time that they put the concerns of their neighbours before profits".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: The Shell Garage is at Exeter Road Exmouth. More info Mast Sanity Media Office 0161 427 7977 or our helpline 0161 959 0999. Members of the public can obtain information packs on phone masts and campaign tactics from our helpline or WEB site www.mastsanity.org

Mast Sanity are currently lobbying Government to plug the loophole in the law that allows what are effectively high power base stations to be sited without proper planning consideration or consultation as a matter of urgency. Including requests for meetings with the Planning Minister Lord Rooker, who despite our first request being made over two months ago has not had the common decency to reply to our letters.

National Phone Mast Rally to take place on the 8th March 2003 in London

 

Over 300 Doctors and other medical professionals Europe wide have now signed up to the Freiburger Appeal - more info from www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/freiburger.htm or via the mast sanity web site

<TOP>

For immediate release - 14th November 2002.

180 PLUS DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SIGN 'FREIBURGER APPEAL'WHICH RAISES HEALTH CONCERNS SUFFERED BY THEIR PATIENTS AS A RESULT OF MOBILE PHONE TECHNOLOGY

A letter produced by IGUMED has seen the number of medical professionals signing it grow to 186 in a little over a month since it was first published. It has been produced in 15 different languages covering the whole of the European Union. The document lists a whole range of disorders that the Doctors say they believe are associated with HFMR (They use the term pure coincidence), which are emissions from Base Stations, Mobile Phones and Digital Cordless Phones.

ILLNESSES THEY POINT TO INCLUDE

We have observed, in recent years, a dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases among our patients, especially:

· Learning, concentration, and behavioural disorders (e.g. attention deficit disorder, ADD)

· Extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, ever harder to influence with medications

· Heart rhythm disorders

· Heart attacks and strokes among an increasingly younger population

· Brain-degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer–s) and epilepsy

· Cancerous afflictions: leukaemia, brain tumours

Moreover, we have observed an ever-increasing occurrence of various disorders, often

misdiagnosed in patients as psychosomatic:

· Headaches, migraines

· Chronic exhaustion

· Inner agitation

· Sleeplessness, daytime sleepiness

· Tinnitus

· Susceptibility to infection

· Nervous and connective tissue pains, for which the usual causes do not explain even the most conspicuous symptoms

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "Many of those signing this document are ordinary GPs, they are the front line of detecting any new health risks, with so many now saying they believe there is a direct connection with base stations and mobile phones, the Government cannot ignore their concerns. Action MUST be taken, and taken today. We call on John Prescott to make a statement as the Secretary of State in charge of Planning, and Alan Milburn as The Secretary of State for Health. These risks must be removed by the Government taking action now. No amount of cash from the sale of licences is worth this level of risk to the health of such large sections of society, particularly when those at greatest risk are said to be pregnant women, children, adolescents, elderly and sick people. This is one catastrophe too many".

The Freiburger Appeals states: "We can no longer believe this to be purely coincidence, for too often do we observe a marked concentration of particular illnesses in correspondingly HFMR-polluted areas or apartments. Too often does a long-term disease or affliction improve or disappear in a relatively short time after reduction or elimination of HFMR pollution in the patients environment. Too often are our observations confirmed by on-site measurements of HFMR of unusual intensity. 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. One can no longer evade these pulsed microwaves. They heighten the risk of already-present chemical/physical influences, stress the body–s immune system, and can bring the body–s still-functioning regulatory mechanisms to a halt. Pregnant women, children, adolescents, elderly and sick people are especially at risk".

MAST SANITY CALLS FOR A MINIMUM OF 1000 UK DOCTORS TO SIGN UP

Mast Sanity calls on the many GPs in the UK who have contacted them in the last year to express concerns, as well as all others in the medical profession, to sign up to the Freiburger Appeal. Many of those doctors have voiced the same or similar concerns we therefore urge them to sign up to the Appeal. We also suggest that people concerned about the health effects of mobile phone base stations should contact their local GPs and other medical professionals and ask if they have reached similar conclusions.

END.

EDITORS NOTES: Copies of the 'Freiburger Appeal' can be obtained from the Mast Sanity WEB site www.mastsanity.org

Our public helpline is open Mon to Fri 11am to 8pm 0161 959 0999 or our WEB site at www.mastsanity.org or Planning Sanity at www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/telemasts.htm Media can contact us on the same number. Copies of Mast Sanity National Petition www.mastsanity.org

<TOP>

For immediate release - 12th November 2002.

MAST SANITY SLAMS 'NEW' GUIDANCE AS'A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY LOST'

New guidance on phone masts issued by Lord Rooker today has been slammed as no more than a PR exercise by the Government on behalf of the Phone Operators, whilst missing a golden opportunity to address the real concerns of local communities right across the UK. Mast Sanity has also criticized Lord Rooker for releasing this document without first holding talks with public interest groups, especially as Mast Sanity have in the last month contacted Lord Rooker requesting such a meeting.

The guidance fails to address the issue of installations being installed outside of the permitted development and planning permission processes, encourages the hiding of phone masts whilst totally ignoring the health concerns of the public. Early comments from local communities is that this is yet another whitewash.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said, "The release of this guidance, which is over a year later than first promised, has failed in every respect to deal with public concern. It seems more interested in the ability to hide phone masts than having a transparent process that allows the public concerns to be genuinely taken into account. They have failed to address the question of those installations that are not put before the local planning authority, and which do not allow the public an opportunity of commenting. As the Minister is clearly refusing to hold talks with us, then we have little option other than to now take our various concerns to the courts for adjudication".

Mast Sanity have now stepped up their campaign to get justice for local communities by first organising a national petition; the organisation of a national rally to take place in London in the New Year; and a concerted lobby of elected members at all levels of Government to put pressure on political parties to ensure they incorporate policies that recognise the concerns of the majority of the country into their election manifestos. This will be coupled to offering support for independent candidates in wards and constituencies where there are no candidates from established parties standing on the question of a fairer system of deciding mast locations, as well as the revocation of all permissions in sensitive locations, and the removal of all installations that have not been approved by local planners.

Chris Maile said: "If the politicians are not prepared to back the people, then we will support independent candidates in those seats where no politician from established parties will stand up and be counted. Democracy is about the will of the people, we aim to demonstrate over the next few months that the vast majority of the public are concerned about this issue, and that politicians are ignoring them. However we would like to take this opportunity of thanking the large number of local councillors and MPs that are taking a positive stand, and we shall continue to support their efforts. Our proposals are not about forming a new political party, but ensuring that voters in every seat up for election (at all levels) will have the opportunity of voting for a candidate that supports a fair system of deciding mast installations whether that is through existing parties, or by Mast Sanity supported independents. Our message to the Government is that we shall take our fight to every aspect of the decision making process, whether that is in the courts, on the streets, or through the ballot box".

END.

EDITORS NOTES: Mast Sanity and Planning Sanity have now helped over 1000 local communities since being established, and the numbers are rising rapidly. Our public helpline is open Mon to Fri 11am to 8pm 0161 959 0999 or our Website at http://www.mastsanity.org or Planning Sanity at http://www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/telemasts.htm Media can contact us on the same number.

A copy of the guidance can be obtained from http://www.planning.odpm.gov.uk/telecomms/index.htm

<TOP>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 9th NOVEMBER 2002.

HAVE COURTS OPENED DOORS TOPHONE MAST HEALTH CHALLENGE?

Mast Sanity is asking the question tonight, “Have recent Court of Appeal decisions opened the door to allow local residents to challenge phone masts on health, and to sue public authorities that have allowed such installations to be erected without taking into account the Human Rights of local residents, suffering from illnesses associated with irradiation?”

Two Court of Appeal cases, the first involving sewage workers in February (Mercic v Thames Water Utilities) and then the later case involving employees working on a television transmitting aerial in May (Davis v Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd), have established that health effects, that are not taken into account by a public body, can now override what was the established Common Law due to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life).

In the words of Mr Justice Jackson in the Davis case,

"I can well understand how the principles emerging from S v France and Marcic might apply to a resident in the immediate vicinity of a transmission mast. If such a resident could prove that personal injury or damage to property had been caused by electromagnetic radiation, then Article 8 may require that he has a remedy against any relevant public authority. The common law requirements of unreasonable user (in the case of nuisance) and lack of reasonable care (in the case of negligence) may have to yield in the face of European human rights law".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "These judgements are significant in that they open the door a little further to not only a legal challenge where there is a provable case of health risk or negligence (which might come from the effect on sensitive electronic equipment, but also clearly spells out that public authorities could be liable for any failure to take health or human rights fully into account in their decisions. This could be from two sources, the first from planning decisions, and the second on decisions to allow installation on their own property.

Many Councils allow, and in some cases encourage, via policy, the erection of masts on the roofs of council flats. It may further put councils at risk of challenges if they fail to order discontinuance of the use of a site where it is demonstrated at health risk could exist".

Chris continued: "There are hundreds, if not thousands of masts that could fall into this category. The case where children are known to use a mast as a climbing frame and the case in Tiverton, that even Sir William Stewart said should be investigated, are 2 such examples. We have 100s of cases of installations on council owned residential property, many of those showing signs of ill health. The question also has to be asked about the 200 plus police officers that have fallen ill due to the TETRA system. Although these are in a different category, a case could well be made. The evidence is there, now we start the job of finding the test cases. In the mean time we urge all decision makers on mobile phone masts to defer the decision, err on the side of caution, by refusing applications, or potentially face the consequences".

END

EDITORS NOTE: For more info phone the Mast Sanity help line on 0161 959 0999

Davis v Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 736 www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2002/736.html

Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 64 www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/TCC/2001/421.html

<TOP>

For immediate release - 3rd November 2002.

HIDDEN MASTS FURTHER REVELATIONS

Mast Sanity has recently requested high level talks with the Government on the use of loopholes by Mobile Phone Operators. The Government are being slow in responding to that request, yet the pressing nature of the discrediting nature of the loopholes is exposed by the undercover work of the Sunday Telegraph. They have demonstrated that some Phone Companies are more than happy to place masts, without any permission, in the most insensitive of locations.

The article demonstrates that some operators are blatantly taking every opportunity they can in cocking two fingers to the system. Every installation that is erected without going through the planning system effectively means that other installations that do need to go through the system are approved as being needed, but these might be refused if the full operational installations are known.

Chris Maile Mast Sanity Chair said: "The affront and total disregard for the system is one thing, but to effectively bribe local communities with large payments to erect potentially health threatening installations on their residential properties demonstrates the lack of morals of those companies involved in the practice. Whilst, no proven health risk is known, the evidence now coming forward is such that it is only a question of time before such a risk is demonstrated to exist. In that event these householders could face hundreds of thousands in damages, along with the phone companies, yet will have no access to insurance to cover the risk, after Lloyds of London advised their members to withdraw such cover. The Phone Operators could therefore be giving the householders a golden handshake with a substantial sting in the tail".

Lisa Oldham continued "These revelations again demonstrate that this abuse of the system is widespread, with only one Phone Company coming out with any credit to their name. We have installations in tree's, phone boxes, petrol stations, restaurant hoardings, street signs, lamp posts, church spires and so on. If the installations are that safe, then why do the operators need to hide them? If the operators are so dedicated to consultation why do they actively encourage, in H3Gs words, “stealth options” where local residents have no right to object and no access to information about local antennae? This whole process must be investigated and action taken to ensure that all these installations are declared unlawful. In that respect we reiterate our offer to the Planning Minister that we are prepared to meet with him any time any place, before the matter is taken out of his hands by action on the lawfulness of the processes being put to the courts".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For further info tel: Press Office on *** or the advice line on : 0161 959 0999

<TOP>

For immediate release - 28th October 2002.

TETRA COMMENTS TAKEN TO HOME SECRETARY

The alleged comments made by the Home Office Health and Safety Officer in charge of the TETRA (Police Radio System) Dr Mirielle Levy at an industry sponsored Conference for Police Federation Reps at Birmingham last week (23rd Oct) has now been reported to the Home Secretary David Blunkett with a demand that she be replaced by someone that has not already formed a view on the health implecations prior to the completion of research that she is in charge of.

The alleged comments at the heart of the Mast Sanity complaint are:

"I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial" South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied "They can always leave the force…nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guinea pigs". Other comments to questions put to her by delegates from the conference floor were: "What would happen I refused to use the equipment?" Dr Levy replied: "You would be required to use the equipment that you are issued, if you do not want to use the equipment then you could leave the force". Another delegate asked: "Who would be responsible if I contacted Leukaemia?" Dr Levy replied, "No one is"

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said: "200 (176 in Lancashire, and 24 in North Yorkshire) Police Officers have reported sick as a direct result of the TETRA system, yet it has not yet been fully implemented. Lancashire, which ran the pilot scheme suffers the most with 174 offiers having reported ill effects, yet it is barely a year since it became operational. The full trials are going to last 15 years, before a final decision on whether it is a health risk, it takes little to calculate, that in Lancashire alone at this rate at the end of the trial 2610 officers will have become ill. When that is multiplied by the entire police force, and we have to ask, will there be any officers well enough to police the UK".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile continued: "Yes there must be research, yes some of that research must be in the field. What is not aceptable is the Government putting £2.5billion of tax payers money into a system that is not proven to be safe, and then put in charge an official who (if the alleged comments can be attibuted to her) would rather see police officers leave the force than protect them from the hazard in the first place".

END:

EDITORS NOTE: For your reference please find attached Mast Sanity letter to the Home Secretary.

Contack Mast Sanity on 0161 959 0999.

Rt. Hon David Blunkett MP
Home Office
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London
SW1H 9AT

28th October 2002

Dear Mr. Blunkett

RE: TETRA COMMENTS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY Dr MIRIELLE LEVY HOME OFFICE TETRA HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER.

It has been reported to Mast Sanity that Dr Mirielle Levy, who we understand is the Officer at the Home Office and is responsible for research projects into the new police radio service TETRA, stated: "I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial". South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied: "They can always leave the force… nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that: "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guinea pigs". Other comments to questions put to her by delegates from the conference floor were: "What would happen if I refused to use the equipment?". Dr Levy replied: "You would be required to use the equipment that you are issued, if you do not want to use the equipment then you could leave the force". Another delegate asked: "Who would be responsible if I contracted Leukaemia?". Dr Levy replied: "No one is".

It is our understanding that the first two of these comments were voiced by Dr Levy on the eve of the Police Federation Conference on TETRA held in Birmingham on the 23rd October at a packed public house to a party of academics and Federation Representatives who she was with. However, irrespective of the location or to whom she made these comments, her position can no longer be seen as tenable. It is our understanding that she is the official to whom officers affected by ill health thought to be associated with TETRA must report. Clearly as she starts from a biased stance, there is little prospect of a balanced view being forthcoming.

It is also our understanding that 174 police officers from the Lancashire force have already reported ill as a direct result of TETRA, as well as a further 20 Officers from the Yorkshire Force. We are also reliably informed that the only officer brave enough to speak out on this emotive topic has been moved to another section of the force. With so many officers having reported ill, there is clearly a problem, that cannot wait the 3 to 15 years for the results of ongoing research. Our police officers are clearly too valuable to be used as guinea pigs in this way. We therefore urge you, in the first instance, to replace Dr Levy with someone who will conduct the required research from an unbiased stance, and secondly to order a moritorium on the further use of the system until it is declared safe.

We are copying this letter to your opposite numbers in both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties, as well as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mobile Communications, with requests that if action is not forthcoming that the issue is raised in the House.

We look forward to your response with interest.

Yours sincerely,

Ms. L.M. Oldham – Director Mast Sanity

cc Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP - Shadow Home Secretary

Simon Hughes MP - Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary

Phil Willis MP - Chair All-Party -Parliamentary Group on Mobile Communications

<TOP>

25th October 2002.

ITALIAN RESEARCH SHOWS 'DNA' ALTERED BY

MOBILE PHONES

Further research demonstrates that mobile phone technology could increase the growth of tumours as well as making leukaemia cells more aggressive in their ability to replicate. This report was by leading biologist Fiorenzo Marinelli of the National Research Council in Bologna Italy, who presented the results at the International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields held on the Greek Island of Rhodes earlier in the month.

The research leads to questions as to whether DNA is initially damaged which then interferes with the cell's biological signals in a way that eventually triggers a defence mechanism . The research leads on from other research carried out ealier this year by Dr de Pomerai at the University of Nottingham that demonstrated radio signals from mobile phone technology could have a biological effect. Colin Blakemore of the University of Oxford and a member of the NRPB Advisory Group on No-ionising Radiation, is reported to have said in relation to the report that 'it's a very confused field'.

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said: "How long will it take for the Government to sit up and take note of the emerging new research on mobile phones, or are they to ever keep their heads buried in the outdated Stewart Report. On a near daily basis we hear of some further research that puts question marks over this technology. Now, today is the time to put the health of those most at risk, our children first, rather than the profits of the operators, or are we to wait until we have a problem of academic proportions".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile concluded: "The reported comments by the Health and Safety Officer at the Home Office Dr Mirielle Levy who is in charge of policing the health effects of TETRA that 'police officers reporting ill from using the new radio's can leave the force', such comments clearly demonstrate the problems that are faced by those concerned about the potential health risks, that the Government are simply not prepared to open their eyes to the real dangers, but instead are more keen on opening the till to deposit more cash from the industry. These are serious academic studies that must be taken serious, or we all risk facing the consequences in years to come".

EDITORS NOTE: Full report contained in the New Scientist 26th Oct 2002.

<TOP>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 24th OCTOBER 2002

POLICE RADIO's 'V' OFFICERS HEALTH THE BIG 'TETRA' DEBATE

CAMPAIGN DEMANDS HOME OFFICE APOLOGY

A big debate has taken place today (23rd Oct) in Birmingham on the question of the new Police Radio system TETRA. It is believed that at least 174 police officers have so far fallen ill as a direct result of using the new radio handsets, whilst concerns similar to those for mobile phones are being voiced by local communities across the UK that the emissions given out by TETRA base stations are harmful to health, particularly children.

HOME OFFICE SAYS POLICE ILL FROM THE EFFECTS OF TETRA CAN ALWAYS LEAVE THE FORCE

Mast Sanity has demanded an immediate response from the Home Secretary to clarify the comments alleged to have been made by Dr Mirielle Levy the Home Office Health and Safety Officer in charge of TETRA in relation to the 200 plus Police Officers in Lancashire who are said to have become ill as a consequence of using TETRA radios - "I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial" South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied "They can always leave the force…nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In the her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guiney pigs".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director: "If the statement made by the Home Office is Government policy then the Home Secretary must immediately state in clear terms why the Government are more interested in implementing a system that has so far been demonstrated to have an effect upon the health of officers than what should be their primary concern the health of officers on the beat".

Lisa continued "It is inconvievable that the Government should commit '£2.5billion' to implementing this scheme, yet spend only '£7.4million' on research into all aspects of the safety of telecommunication installations. Which clearly demonstrates that the Government have little concern for the welfare of individual police officers or members of the public, whether that is from TETRA or Mobile Phone Base Station. Their concern being clearly that of financial rather than the protection of health".

Barrie Trower who was commissioned by the Police Federation to report on TETRA stated after the conference "This has been a complete farce, a whitewash, that was more concerned with PR than debating the real concerns of ordinary police officers on the beat. It is clearly disappointing for the 200 officers who are ill as they have no representation, and they are not being believed".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile concluded: "As an organisation that represents hundreds of local communities we are dismayed at the attitude of a high ranking Government Official making such irresponsible comments concerning the health of police officers. This official should be immediately replaced by a person that understands the concerns of those effected. These officers that are ill are not imaginary, they are real people policing our streets, in order to make them safe, yet the Government is prepared to send them out with tools that are puuting their health at risk. It is now time for a complete change in policy, along with a moritorium on the further expansion of the system until it is demonstrated that it is safe".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information contact Mast Sanity Media Office ** or our national helpline 0161 959 0999. Leading Academic Barry Trower who attended the conference but was not allowed to address the delegates can be contacted on 01626 821014.

<TOP>

For immediate release 13th October 2002.

CAMPAIGN SEEKS URGENT MINISTER LEVEL TALKS ON PHONE MASTS

Mast Sanity the national campaign for the sensible siting of mobile phone base stations has written to Lord Rooker the Minister for Housing, Planning and Regeneration requesting urgent talks on mobile phone base stations (copy attached). The talks follow on from promises made by previous Planning Minister Nick Raynsford that all new applications for permission for phone masts would be by full planning in all but name. Those promises were not lived up to, and legislation was introduced that allows the Phone Operators to install tens of thousands of telecommunication installations without permission.

Chris Maile Chair added: "It is time for the Government to sit down with those most affected by base stations, in order that the problems caused by the inappropriately siting of installations can be avoided, either through guidance or a change in the GPDO. We want the removal of those installations that are at present slipping through the control mechanisms. By inviting the Minister to talks, we hope that we can start to move forward in the best interests of all those concerned. In this respect we are prepared to meet with the Minister anytime any place, we are even prepared to fund the meeting. All that we ask of the Minister is to name the date".

Pamela Chapman (Mrs) Parliamentary Lobby Co-ordinator continued: "When people are told they cannot comment on a development that is as controversial as phone masts, then the system comes into disrepute. We hope that by participating in these talks that many of the problems can be resolved".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said: "We are concerned that the planning system, that relates to all other forms of development is adhered to in relation to phone masts. That it is not seen as being capable of abuse, especially, when on the face of the evidence it appears that those that pay substantial licence fees can receive special consideration in the procedures put in place to decide developments associated with those licences".

Mast Sanity will be asking the Minister to take the following action (not in any particular order):

End the loopholes that allow installations to take place outside of the planning procedures;

To bring within the system those installations being approved by the DAC;

To clarify the position on whether health should or should not be taken into account, after consideration is given to the orders of the courts;

To give the Health and Safety Executive the resources to properly police emissions from base stations;

To bring in provisions enabling local planning authorities to better control installations within their areas;

To allocate greater funds to the research programme now taking place to cater for the concerns relating to the biological and other effects that are not fully catered for in the present budget;

Transparency of the system to ensure that all concerned are able to easily identify installations, in accordance with the recommendation of the Stewart Committee, by the erection of internationally recognised signs;

There shall be a full database of all installations irrespective of the type, or legislative framework by which the installation was approved. Such database to be incorporated with legislation, and open to public inspection at a local level;

Local communities concerned about insensitively sited phone masts can contact Mast Sanity either through our WEB site www.mastsanity.org or by phoning our helpline 0161 959 0999 (these details are for publication).

END:

EDITORS NOTE: Contact Chris Maile 0161 959 0999 -

Copies of the letter to the Minister have also been forwarded to selected MPs who have shown an interest in the mast issue.

The present system allows 4 main loopholes, the first is that of Small Antenna (including de minimus) GPDO Part 24 A.1(m) & (o) -this includes garage forecourts, street furniture (lights, signs…), telephone boxes…… ; Installations on buildings or structures that do not exceed 4 metres GPDO Part 24 A.2(4)(b), this can include major installations, that would normally have to go through the system; Those on Church Property, although technically not a loophole as such, the applications do by-pass the main decision making process. The system is conplex, but allows the main 6 denominations that have their own planning procedures to decide planning questions on church property. The Church of England body being the Diocesan Advisory Committees (DAC).

Minister for Housing, Planning and Regeneration
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Elland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5DU

10th October 2002

Dear Lord Rooker,

I am writing on behalf of hundreds of campaigns across the country, to ask for an immediate change to the planning legislation controlling the development of mobile phone masts and Tetra masts.

Our organisation has been inundated in recent months with complaints about the behaviour of the operators, who are now regularly erecting antennae without having to obtain planning permission.

We believe there are several loopholes in the legislation that allows this to happen, and we call on the Government to deal with this longstanding problem immediately.

What is increasingly common at the moment is the use of the A24(b) of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(Amendment)Order 2001. This legislation implies that installations of antennae on a building or other structure (not a mast) not exceeding 4 metres, does not require planning permission. This is contrary to several other sections of Part 24 and we need confirmation from the Government exactly what this section means and exactly what the operators can do. We want the Government to prevent the mobile phone operators from using this legislation to put up their antennae outside of the proper planning process.

We object strongly to the current method of dealing with planning applications for masts, however this situation is much worse. Ordinary people are being denied the right to object to the installation of equipment that could potentially harm them and, in our members experience, significantly reduce the price, and saleability, of their property.

We believe this blatant disregard for peoples’ opinions is a violation of their human rights, in particular; Article 6 – the right to a fair hearing, article 8 – protecting your home and family life and Article 1 protecting your property.

The operators are using this to put equipment on sites where they have previously had an application turned down. Large amounts of equipment are being put up without any permission and the operators believe there are no restrictions on what they can put up in this way. We urgently need clarification on this issue, as it cannot be allowed to continue. It is making a mockery of the whole planning process. This is exactly the legislation that the operators are using to place masts in hidden locations such as on petrol station forecourts, which was heavily reported in the media last week.

Presently the operators are abusing the de minimus development rules, which as you will be aware, were designed for small developments such as satellite dishes and aerials. We know that this loophole has been used by the operators to do the following:

  • Putting additional dishes and antennae on base stations
  • Adding a larger head gear, larger dishes and(s) larger antennae
  • Installing larger equipment cabins
  • Installing small antennae and dishes disguised as normal building and street furniture eg street lamps and burglar alarms
  • Installation of antennae and dishes inside buildings under false ceilings, as imitation smoke detectors and other interior fittings.

The other abuse of the system that we wish to stop is the ability of churches to put any type of mobile phone masts or antennae in their spires without permission from the British planning process. Not only is this disregard for the democratic process destroying the reputation of the planning process, it is also undermining the respect that the Church has always demanded. We want legal assurances that the Church will not continue to abuse their powers to put masts in their churches.

The operators at present are clearly exploiting every possible loophole in the already lax legislation governing the erection of mobile phone masts and Tetra masts. This situation cannot continue and we call on the Government to close these loopholes and also to fulfil their promise of 16th March 2001 when Nick Raynsford, MP, promised faithfully to bring all mobile phone mast and antennae under full planning control.

Mast Sanity, though only in existence for 10 months, is now the primary lobbying group against the insane siting of mobile phone masts, representing over 500 campaigns across the country. Therefore we believe that it is time the Government arranged a round table meeting with us to discuss our members grievances with the process that allows mobile phone masts to be erected so easily near their homes.

I await a speedy response that I can pass on to our membership.

Yours sincerely,

Ms. Lisa M. Oldham

Director – Mast Sanity

Cc: Pamela Chapman Mast Sanity - Parliamentary lobbying co-ordinator

Chris Maile Mast Sanity - Chair

Phil Willis MP Chairman of APMobile

<TOP>

FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE - 7th OCTOBER 2002.

THE HIDDEN PHONE MASTS

Mast Sanity was today urging the Government to keep to their promise made on the 16th March 2001 that all new permissions for base stations would be for full planning permission in all but name. As it emerges that tens of thousands of mast installations have been installed without any permission whatsoever, even the Governments own database (Site Finder) of phone masts do not list them.

Guildford Catherdral Golden Spire - Petrol Station Signs - Street Furniture (including road signs) - Burclar Alarms - False ceiling in offices and shopping centres -Street Lamps (Stoke-on-Trent CC have just awarded a 25,000 lamp post contract to Tay Valley Lighting Consortium, all of which could have phone masts hidden inside them).

Chris Maile Mast Sanity Chair said "This installations appear to be everywhere yet the Govenrment are allowing the phone operators to install them with no permission under loop holes in legislation brought out in August 2001. The publics concerns are being totally ignored, by a Government that seems more intent on the billions of £s they have raised in licence fees that the potential adverse health effect on the population".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director continued "The Mast Sanity helpline is getting more calls than ever about installations being erected under one or another of the loopholes, one company Hutchinson 3G has employed a contractor to find 4000 sites to erect masts on roofs under just one of the loop holes. The time has come to say 'Enough is Enough' have much more insanity is this Government going to inflict on our children, who are those most at risk".

END

EDITORS NOTE: The loop holes are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(Amendment)(England) Order 2001 (GPDO) which came into effect on the 21st August 2001. They are all generally referred to as 'Licence Notifications', and require no more than the local authority being informed that the Operator intends to install an antenna after 28 days. No permission is required, or so the Operators allege, yet Mast Sanity have discovered instances where the rules are blatantly being ignored.

The Phone Companies claim that Part 24 A.2(4)(b) of the GPDO allows them to erect masts on buildings or structures without permission if the installation does not exceed the height of the building (or structure) by 4 metres. Mast Sanity state this is a blatant misreading of the law.

Part 24 A.1(m) and (o) allows from dishes and antenna to be erected on dwellings, buildings and structures with the following formula. Dwelling 1 antenna, non dwelling under 15 metres 1 antenna, buildings over 15 metres 2 antennas. All of this antenna are classed small antenna in other words they have strict size limits (does not exceed 50 centimetres in any linear measurement, and does not in two dimensional profile, have an area exceeding 1,591 centimetres).

Other installations are even smaller than this and are termed 'de minimus', and are placed inside buildings and so forth.

contact the Public Helpline 0161 959 0999.

<TOP>

MEDIA RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION - 23rd SEPTEMBER 2002.

TOP UK PHONE MAST ACTIVISTS MEET IN MANCHESTER

Activists from Mast Sanity met today in Manchester for what was the largest ever gathering of campaign activists from around the UK. Plans were put in place to ensure a more proactive and coordinated approach to future campaigns. The campaign believes that it is moving into an exciting new era that has seen in the recent past an unprecedented number of local authorities taking a positive stance towards protecting their local residents from the effects of harmful irradiation emmited from phone masts by refusing more applications for base stations than ever before.

The meeting was addressed by newly appointed Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham who informed the meeting that over 400 local campaigns had now gained help fom Mast Sanity since it was formed in January 2002 and that a similar number had approached what was the campaigns parent body the Campaign for Planning Sanity. The campaign unanimously thanked CfPS for the help and support that it had received, but agreed that it was time to move forward as an independent body in its own right.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said: "I am proud to have received the total support from fellow activists through a unanimouse vote appointing me to the post of the first Director of Mast Sanity. I welcome the task that now lies before us. Since our formation 8 months ago we have helped 100s of local communities to defeat inappropriately sited masts that if erected would have seen the health of thousands of children and adults deteriate as a direct result of the emissions from base stations, our newly structured campaign should enable even greater numbers to gain the help and support they deserve".

Chair Chris Maile continued: "Many local communities are devastated by phone masts within their communities at last we are now in a very strong position to increase the level of advise to local communities. There is genuine concern at local community level, not only on the health aspects, but at the level of support that is received from the local planning authorities, due in the main to the unclear wording of Government Guidance, which appears to be in total conflict with the law as interpreted by the courts. It is therefore time for a change, and if this Government is not prepared to listen to the 100s of thousands concerned about these inappropriately sited masts, then Mast Sanity will be working towards advising its members and supporters where to put their 'at all levels of election".

END.

Editors Note: ******* - A more structured approach to media activity will now be on offer, including access to a number of topic related speakers. A policy information sheet will be published for media contacts within the next week please contact Lisa or the help line to obtain a copy on publication. An archive of past media releases is to be set up, and will be available in the near future.

Mast Sanity will now absorb all mast activity previously undertaken by CfPS (Campaign for Planning Sanity). Whilst CfPS will still continue with its full range of advise services on none mast developments. Until a new Mast Sanity help line can be set up, the CfPS help line will still be available for local groups concerned about all planning issues, including how to make repreentation on phone masts to planning authorities. Help Line Number for Publication 0161 959 0999 (11am to 8pm Mon to Fri).

Lisa Oldham who was the campaigns national coordinator will now take on the role of Director, with a full team heading a wide range of departmental activities, full details of which will be released in the near future.

Chris Maile has been appointed Chair of Mast Sanity, Chris is also the Chair of CfPS, Chris will also head the Planning & Legal Department of Mast Sanity a roole that is mirrowed within CfPS.

<TOP>

MEDIA RELEASE - 3rd August 2002.

STEWART EXPRESSES CONTINUED CONCERNS ON HEALTH

Sir William Stewart in an interview with a West Country Newspaper has expressed continued concerns over health stating "A blanket dismissal of possible health implications was wrong, as further research was needed before the full effects of mobile phone masts were known". Sir William chaired the Government inquiry into mobile phone masts, which culminated in the 'Stewart Report'. (Full Report of Interview with Sir Stewart is attached).

This interview clearly dismisses many of the misstatements attributed to Sir William Stewart and his committee. Making it very clear that in the view of Sir Stewart further research is required, and that concerns on public health MUST be taken serious. Including ensuring that urgent research is carried out on real people to ascertain the real effect that emissions can have on people.

The Express & Echo has run a high profile support campaign within the Crediton, Devon area in support of 6 year old Emma Cann and 3 other cases of cancer believed to be associated with a local phone mast. The case being very tragic in that the phone operator although having made a commitment to move the mast failed to do so before young Emma, who had been in remission for 18 months was readmitted to hospital. Sir William stating "The findings from these studies could help inform on what has gone on regarding the little girl in Crediton. I am most interested to learn about this girl and the adverse health effects she has suffered". The case was recently brought to the attention of the All Party Working Group on Mobile phones, it is hoped that the MPs present at that meeting will raise the case in the House.

Chris Maile Mast Sanity Chair said: "Mast Sanity take's the view that health is a crucial issue that cannot be fobbed off as being a risk that cannot yet be proven, and therefore it is fine to continue to use the technology. Irrespective of the subsequent findings, there is clear concern by the public at large that these installations do create adverse health effects. Therefore the Government MUST take a more precautionary approach, the financial rewards for the Government should not take precedence over the potential adverse health effects of our children. Cases such as that of Emma Cann cannot be allowed to become the price to be paid for speedy communications".

Mast Sanity National Co-ordinator Lisa Oldham followed up by saying: "It is not only those who are suffering actual health effects that concern must be shown for. But the thousands of caring parents that lose regular sleep over not knowing if these installations will cause their children to contact leukaemia. This affects not only the parents health from the stress caused by the worry, but also impinges on the children and the family life as the inevitable nature of stress takes hold, distracting the parents and family unit from their more normal daily lives. We therefore welcome these comments of Sir William, and hope that at last the government takes heed".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more info contact Chris Maile or Lisa Oldham on 0161 959 0999.

TEXT OF MEDIA REPORT FROM THE 'EXPRESS & ECHO' Tel: 01392 442211
TEST VICTIMS LIKE EMMA
BY ANDREW MOSLEY
HEALTH CORRESPONDENT
12:00 - 03 August 2002
A top Government adviser on mobile phone mast safety has called for more research to be carried out on cancer victims living near them - like six-year-old Emma Cann, pictured above.
Speaking exclusively to the Express & Echo, Sir William Stewart believes human studies are vital as some people may be more vulnerable to the effects of mast emissions than others.
And he said a blanket dismissal of possible health implications was wrong as further research was needed before the full effects of mobile phone masts were known.
The biologist, who headed the independent group of experts which produced The Stewart Report in May 2000, believes individual studies could help explain why Crediton girl Emma and other people who live near masts are ill.
Emma, who was diagnosed with leukaemia more than three years ago, is one of four people living in George Hill, Crediton, to suffer from cancer since the 15-metre Orange mast was installed in 1996.
Mother Anne Cann, who is currently at Emma's bedside at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, welcomed the words of Sir William, who told the Echo: "When we put together the report we said it was uncertain whether or not mobile phone technology was harming and having adverse effects on the general population on the UK.
"There is no evidence that this is the case, but the question is whether particular individuals might be more susceptible.
"I would like to see studies on real people, not animals and bits of tissue. Our current committee wants to get some volunteer studies carried out. Some people have already been chosen.
"The findings from these studies could help inform on what has gone on regarding the little girl in Crediton. I am most interested to learn about this girl and the adverse health effects she has suffered.
"This is an area which has received worldwide attention, but the question as to whether mobile phone masts cause these effects is still unresolved I am afraid."
Mrs Cann, whose daughter returned to hospital two weeks ago after 18 months in remission from her illness, said: "Individual tests would be very beneficial. Not everybody who smokes gets lung cancer, so it could be the same with masts.
"This sort of research could benefit someone like Emma. It's good that he's not saying exactly the same things as the Government."
Orange maintain that the mast at George Hill is safe, but have agreed to move it as soon as a suitable alternative site is found.
Sir William said mast safety was an important issue as many people did not have a choice as to whether or not they lived close to one.
There are currently 26,000 in the UK, with 24,000 more planned for the next 18 months.
"Somebody using a mobile phone can decide for themselves whether it is more beneficial than not using one, but with a mast you don't have that choice.
"A lot of people are now very concerned about this," he said.
"In our report we recommendation of a precautionary approach. That is absolutely vital."
Sir William said the Government had accepted and acted on around 80 per cent of the Stewart Report's recommendations, but he thought research programmes needed to be carried out and analysed as quickly as possible.
"Our committee was totally independent and didn't have any axe to grind from the industry point of view or the health point of view. We told it how it is," he said.
"Increasing opinion is becoming available and the next report will take on board all the research which has been carried out," he said, adding that the recommendation that the Government carry out an audit was important.
So far the Government has published the results of the auditing of just 100 masts and Sir William said: "Just as you might haul a lorry up a road and check if its emissions are too high, there should be tests by the audit people on masts all over the country. This is being done but it is taking some time."
He also said he was concerned about masts near schools.
"Our recommendation was that masts should not be close to schools and you have to be very careful," he said.
Mid Devon District Council recently became the first in the country to make an exclusion zone around mobile phone masts as part of their planning policy.
Councillors agreed that masts should not be erected within 500 metres of a home, school or hospital, if there was an alternative site.
Christine Mangat of lobby group Mast Action UK said Sir William's comments were "very encouraging".
"I think it's absolutely terrific. Emma Cann and the Crediton mast were the main focus of the recent all-party Parliamentary group meeting on masts where the pressure was really put on Orange to get that mast in Crediton moved.
"I think Sir William Stewart is genuinely sympathetic towards situations such as this one," she said.
Recommendations in the Stewart Report of 2000 included:
A review of work carried out since the publication of the report is due in May 2003.
As part of its Shock Waves campaign the Echo has asked the Government to act on Stewart's recommendations and:
The Government recently announced the first stage of its Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme and says it is "currently considering research proposals specifically in relation to emissions from base stations and possible effects on public health".

<TOP>

For immediate release 8th July 2002 -0161 959 0999.

NEW RADIO SYSTEM SEES POLICE DROP IN DROVES

With only 3 police forces turned onto the new Emergency Services Radio Service 'TETRA' it has emerged that 173 Officers in the Lancashire Force and 20 in the Yorkshire Force have now fallen ill as a direct or indirect result of using the new radios, it is asserted that of these 20 are considered to be serious. From the very beginning there have been concerned raised by academics and organisations such as Mast Sanity and its parent organisation the Campaign for Planning Sanity that the new system was unsafe and untested. These alarming figures that are due to be updated in the next few days puts a clear question mark over continued use of the entire system.

With a question mark over the Manchester forces continued use of the system after its recent withdrawal due to technical problems, coupled to the refusal of he majority of Ambulance and Fire Authorities to take up the system. Mean there are real questions to be asked over the Governments 2.5 billion pound funding.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "These significant levels of health effects on officers although mainly consisting of minor ailments such as nose bleeds and headaches must put a serious question mark over the service. And requires a Ministerial statement that the system will be suspended until further investigations are undertaken. It is vitally important that our police officers are protected from the adverse effects of untested equipment. Especially as this effects have been known for some time, and were clearly pointed to in the report by the renowned scientist Barry Trower commissioned by a South West branch of the Police Federation'.

Mast Sanity will be raising these concerns with the Home Office in the near future. In the mean time we urge restraint in the implementation of the continued role out of the system. And that measures are put into place to halt further use of the equipment until such time as a clean bill of health can be given to all officers, and members of the public.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: More info from Chris Maile on 0161 959 0999.

The following is taken from the March edition of the Police Federation Magazine letters page:

RADIO HEADS

I am writing to you to express my concern and amazement at the report by B Trower that is circulating freely in the Lancashire Police area regarding TETRA radio.

I find it unbelievable that Lancashire officers are still having to use these radios as there would appear to be an increased and surely now measurable number of instances of ill-health directly attributable to the electromagnetic wave frequency used by TETRA.

I personally know of new cases of skin problems, sleeplessness, migraines, depression, difficulty in concentrating and headaches.

We need firm action now to prevent our colleagues being further exposed to this needless electromagnetic radiation.

Nigel R Wood, Lancashire

<TOP>

MEDIA RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8th May 2002.

CAMPAIGN CELEBRATES MAST WIN ASPHONE OPERATOR GIVES HIGH COURT UNDERTAKING NOT TO ERECT PHONE MAST

Local residents of Gatley in Stockport are to celebrate with a final monthly vigil at the site of what was Stockports most controversial phone mast campaign. Local residents include Mast Sanity's National Coordinator Lisa Oldham who took personal control of the campaign as it was steered through over a year of intensive activity lobbying and finally legal action, which ended with phone operator One2One admitting defeat and giving an undertaking to the Court that they would not implement the planning permission granted by Stockport Planners.

The case was finally taken to the High Court by local mum Julia Smith and her 7 year old daughter. And is one of the first cases where a challenge to a phone mast has been granted leave to proceed as a direct consequence of the failure of the local authority to consider health. The case makes it very clear that the advise now being given by local planners to elected members that health cannot be taken into account is fatally flawed, and decisions where health is not taken into account will most likely be overturned by the courts.

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity National Coordinator said "Local residents are jubilant that the health of their families especially young children will not now be put at risk from harmful radiation. The decision though has far greater consequences for campaigns right across the UK, who can now look to the courts with a real prospect that they will look favourably upon overturning inappropriate decisions. The case also shows that at least one phone operator has admitted this by running away from the challenge rather than face the more devastating and fumiliating defeat that would have been their fate had they continued to insist that this mast must be erected".

Chris Maile Chair of CfPS the parent organisation of Mast Sanity said "The Courts before this case came before them had made it abundantly clear that health is a material planning consideration. The Government accepted this by including the specific advise within planning guidance that heath is a material planning consideration, and that it is for the decision maker to decide how much weight to attach to the fear that local communities hold. Local communities nationally must now seriously consider taking the phone companies to task through the courts to hammer home once and for all that health is a very important planning consideration that cannot be sidelined for the profits of large companies".

The celebration vigil will take place in Gatley on Saturday the 11th May from 3pm.

CfPs and Mast Sanity operate a joint help line for local communities concerened about all adverse developments including phone masts Tel: 0161 959 0999 and have comprehensive advise and other information sheets available online Mast Sanity http://mastsanity.org/ or CfPS http://www.onlincam.freeserve.co.uk/planning/brief/telemast.htm

END:

EDITORS NOTE: Contact Chris or Lisa on 0161 959 0999 for more information

<TOP>

PHONE MASTS - DOUBLE DEBATE

.Two major debates are to take place on Wednesday 13th March In London on Moble Phone Base Stations. Organised by the Local Economy policy Unit of the South Bank University -London (LEPU) entitled Telecommunications Masts - local economy, local community, and the Local Government Association (LGA) Building community confidence in mobile telecommunications development.

These two debates will see arguments being put by industry representatives campaign activists, legal and academic experts and politicians bringing about one of the most intense days of debate since the launch of this controversial industry, that potentially brings distress to so many local communities. Mast Sanity will be represented at both debates, as well as seeing a small representative body of local communities lobbying delegates at the LGA debate.

Chris Maile the Chair of CfPS the parent body of Mast Sanity and who will be speaking at the LEPU debate on the economy consequences of base stations for local communities said "It is clear that there is great concern over the question of adverse health effects from phone masts, however the consequences for local communities in terms of economic effect is as serious as the health effect. Property values can drop by as much as 30%, if that was the only economic aspect it would be bad enough but we must also measure the effect on schools as parents concerned at the health effect withdraw pupils, thereby putting at risk the viability of the whole school. Lloyds have advised its members to write exclusion clauses into any new or renewed policies from the effects of irradiation, this puts at risk a whole range of businesses that could potentially suffer as a result, not least of all sheep farmers, who are potentially liable to have their flocks treated more frequently due to an increase in fertility of nematode worns".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Coordinator said "These debates will bring out the levels of concern by a whole range of organisations, potentially making them jointly the most significant event since the publication of the Stewart Report. We therefore urge all the delegates to take onboard the concerns of local communyties not only in the UK but Worldwide over the effects of this unproven technology, especially those at the LGA conference who are primarily the decision makers on decisions to approve phone and TETRA masts".

Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Kent County Council will be acting in a representative capacity for Mast Sanity at the LGA Conference.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information tel: Chris Maile 0161 959 0999 or Lisa Oldham

CfPS is a national organisation advising local communities on all types of planning related issues, Mast Sanity is the specialist phone mast wing. Local communities needing advise can phone our helpline between 11am and 8pm Mon to Fri on 0161 959 0999 or visit our WEB sites Mast Sanity http://mastsanity.org or CfPS http://cfps.fsnet.co.uk.

*

Mast Sanity cannot produce any more media releases as we have no one available to do this.  Inquiries have increased 10 fold and with a shortage of volunteers we have to prioritise - helping local campaigns always comes first!.  We are still in constant touch with numerous national and regional journalists, however to keep up the profile we have earned over the last 2 years we need to produce press releases on a regular basis. We have to get someone to produce press releases for us.. so if you think you can do it VOLUNTEER....

10th May 2004

The Home Office is unable to prove safety of its own TETRA police communications system, on grounds of research ethics.

26th January 2004

POLICE CONDEMN AIRWAVE TETRA TACTICS

15th January 2003

PROTESTERS CHALK UP MAJOR VICTORY AS POLICE FORCE PUTS TETRA ON HOLD

20th December 2002

GOVERNMENT PUBLIC FINANCE COMMITTEE SLAM COST OF 'TETRA' (Airwave)

28th October 2002

TETRA COMMENTS TAKEN TO HOME SECRETARY

24th October 2002

POLICE RADIO's 'V' OFFICERS HEALTH THE BIG 'TETRA' DEBATE CAMPAIGN DEMANDS HOME OFFICE APOLOGY

8th July 2002

NEW RADIO SYSTEM SEES POLICE DROP IN DROVES

 

 

<TOP>

PRESS RELEASE - For immediate use: 10 May 2004

 The Home Office is unable to prove safety of its own TETRA police communications system, on grounds of research ethics.

Mast Sanity is calling for reassurance that the TETRA system is safe. Mast Sanity is being contacted by a huge and increasing number of people expressing enormous opposition to O2 Airwave as it erects TETRA masts in a nationwide network. Across all social strata and in all regions, ordinary people are reporting symptoms of ill health from these masts, which are now being installed approx. every ten miles in a desperate bid to meet contractual requirements and avoid late delivery compensation payouts. The symptoms reported range from headaches and itchy skin to increased epileptic episodes, repeated nosebleeds and serious sleep disorders. Confidence in this system, within the communities it is designed to serve, has been totally destroyed.

No reassurance of safety, no acceptance of evidence

Repeatedly we are told that “more research is needed”.  The Government and the Home Office in particular have sponsored a wide range of research around the area, but none of this will investigate the consistent range of immediate adverse health effects attributed by so many people to TETRA masts. Groups all over the UK, formed in opposition to the TETRA system, chiefly on grounds of risk to health, are able to report the effects in their own areas, where Tetra is installed. Yet all calls for epidemiological surveys to establish the connection with TETRA are being ignored.

David Baron of Mast Sanity said, “ People’s health is being put at risk; this cannot be dismissed as an acceptable consequence of progress.”

John O’Brien, a leading campaigner against TETRA in Sussex, went on to say, “The response we are usually given is ‘there is no evidence’, and that what they do report is too complex to be separated out from all other environmental influences. It is quite clearly more than coincidental that when TETRA masts are turned on, symptoms start. When they are turned off they stop.”

Government in public challenge

Mast Sanity has continually called for a stop to the TETRA rollout until appropriate research has been carried out.  Now, in a public letter to the Home Office, Department of Health, Health and Safety Executive, National Radiological Protection Board and Health Protection Agency, ten groups across the south have challenged the Government to amend this research deficiency.  As Andy Davidson of Worthing, who suffers as a result of a TETRA mast, stated, “We do not wish to be subjected to an untested system that is effectively being tested on us – we don’t want to be the guinea pigs”.

The group has proposed a simple double blind test of two TETRA masts, set up in comparable residential areas, one switched on and one off, so that a subsequent survey of reports of any adverse health effects could be statistically correlated with the masts. However, we understand researchers from the Home Office cannot do this on grounds of ethics. It appears that whilst the Home Office can engage a private company to erect and operate this untested system anywhere it likes, even expressly against the wishes of residents, it cannot engage its own research partners in erecting the same masts for the purposes of measuring their biological effects on people. Only if in the test communities (one live, one placebo) every man woman and child were to give their explicit consent, and continue to do so throughout the experiment, could such an experiment take place.

Yet the Home Office continues to assert that the system is “probably safe” and should continue to be rolled out regardless of the wishes or fears of anyone in those communities. While no pre-rollout research has been done, residents exposed to Tetra are de facto research subjects, along with the police.

Contacts

David Baron - Mast Sanity (Tetra Coord)   - 

Andy Davidson – Mast Sanity spokesperson and person ill as a result of TETRA  -

John O’Brien - Spokesperson for ‘Protect Sussex from TETRA’ -

Mast Sanity Press Office  :

 Notes for Editors

Note: Whereas Mast Sanity does not advocate experimentation on any community, we feel that the position held by the Government when dealing with this group's suggestions is two faced.  As in the rollout of the controversial TETRA system, it refuses point blank to take into account the opinions of rank and file police officers as well as  those of hundreds of very frightened communities across the country.

1.       TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is the new Home Office radio communications system being offered to police authorities throughout the UK.

2.       Contrary to Government interpretations, all UK TETRA equipment, including base stations, transmit digital signals in pulses that coincide with beta brain wave activity, with a clear risk of disrupting key biological processes. The Stewart report to Government advised that this pulsed frequency be avoided.

3.       Pulsed radio waves at extremely low frequencies affect living tissues, promoting cell multiplication and growth, and are used in this way in the medical profession.

4.       The core network, with partial coverage, requires nearly 3,500 masts across the UK. Resistance in a number of areas has resulted in severe hold-up to the rollout as O2 Airwave struggle to fill the gaps.

5.       O2 Airwave has gathered a national reputation for breaching planning regulations, with a consistent lack of consultation and lack of respect for local people and decision makers, in a bid to complete its contract. Some Police Authorities have publicly distanced themselves from the behaviour of O2 Airwave.

6.       The system has been criticised on grounds of cost, value for money, on real functionality, and above all on the possible dangers to health. The issues have been raised in Parliament and in the European Parliament, and the NRPB has indicated the need for more research.

7.       In Dursley, Gloucestershire, some 70 residents regularly have to leave their village for respite and recovery.

8.       The system is not exclusive, but being run in parallel with the old analogue system because police authorities are not yet happy with its performance. The Government could retain the right to continue to use existing frequencies, on licence, after 2005, if it chose to, and to maintain continuity of service with the existing system’s known capabilities.

9.       The current estimated cost at £2.9 billion (increased from an original figure of £1.6 billion) is only an initial estimate for a core service. In order to achieve full operational capability, further very large sums will have to be committed by Police Forces to pay for development of presently unavailable functionality (eg data) and increased coverage.

10.   Research by Imperial College, London for the Home Office will monitor the health of the entire police force using Tetra equipment over many years. The ethics of this study is different because Imperial College has not set up the experiment. No research or monitoring has been done and none is planned, relating to Tetra base stations.

<TOP>

Media Release – For Immediate Distribution  26th January 2004

POLICE CONDEMN AIRWAVE TETRA TACTICS

The recent deluge of bad publicity surrounding Airwave mmO2, the company installing the controversial TETRA communications system has prompted a swift response from the police. In an effort to distance themselves from the growing number of complaints about Airwave’s unlawful erection of masts in the county, Sussex Police Authority spokesman, Dr John Godfrey has made the following statement in a letter to the Campaign for Planning Sanity. He says, “The Police Authority has made it absolutely clear that any illegal action being taken to erect masts in advance of planning permission being obtained is unacceptable.”    

Campaigners concerned about the proliferation of phone masts generally are quick to point out that the problem is not confined to Sussex or simply to Airwave 02. Recent estimates suggest that fifty per cent of masts required for third generation mobile phones, the police TETRA system and Network Rail are bypassing the planning process altogether.  Loopholes and confused planning guidance are allowing the telecom operators a freedom from control not enjoyed by other private companies.

As public anxiety about health risks from mobile telecommunication technology grows, MPs all over the country are finding the issue dominating their postbags. West Suffolk MP, Richard Spring has responded by tabling a private member’s Bill in consultation with Planning Sanity and Mast Sanity, the national campaign group.  The bill will attempt to tighten up planning controls and give greater powers to local authorities to control the current chaotic situation in relation to mast siting.

Communities, which have seen their environments blighted over the last few years are urging their own MPs to support this initiative. Mast Sanity spokesman, Karen Barratt says the time has come for the Government to recognise the problem and do something about it. “ They must realise that they are dealing with highly educated, well-informed protest groups who are cynical about reassurances from Government and industry.  We are not prepared to be fobbed off with reports on health, that are based on selective research projects which make no attempt to replicate findings which show an adverse effect. The so-called “precautionary approach” is not being followed. The public, particularly children must be protected now.”   

Campaigners say that the problems with Airwave TETRA system are the latest example of an ill-advised Government policy which has put too much faith in an untested, high-risk technology and has allowed the operational freedom given to the industry to threaten local democracy. “I’m not surprised that Airwave think they can  ignore planning refusals,” says Karen Barratt. “They’ve seen the way Orange, T-Mobile and the rest disregard the wishes of ordinary people and get away with it. I’m glad the Sussex Police Authority have condemned their outrageous behaviour but I’d be far more impressed if David Blunkett ended their Home Office contract”.

END.

EDITORS NOTE: Contact: Mast Sanity Spokesperson Karen Barratt  tel: ****  - Mast Sanity Public Helpline 08704 322377

                                        For information on the Telecommunication Mast Bill 2004  See:  http://www.planningsanity.co.uk/forums/masts/mastbill.html    

<TOP>

For immediate release - 15th January 2003

PROTESTERS CHALK UP MAJOR VICTORY AS POLICE FORCE PUTS TETRA ON HOLD

Celebrations were taking place tonight at the Mast Sanity head quarters as Devon and Cornwall admitted that protesters had scored at major victory forcing them to put the planned TETRA system on hold for 2 years. Mast Sanity the national campaign group are now urging local communities across the UK to put the pressure on to ensure that other areas take similar decisions as well as urging that this untried unsafe system is admitted to be a white elephant and totally rejected.

Mast Sanity Director Lisa Oldham said "This is very good news and yet again demonstrates that when local residents band together they can make a real difference. This system has never been demonstrated as being safe, yet the Government committed £3billion to its implementation, money that could have been spent on putting more police on the beat, improving our hospitals, schools and other hard pressed institutions that are under funded".

Lisa Added "I would just like to take this opportunity of thanking all those local communities that have stood up to the system that was hell bent on rolling out such a risky system, but would urge them not o get complacent, to carry on the fight, and to show solidarity by taking part in the UKs biggest ever phone mast rally on the 8th March in London".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "Now is the time to knock the nail into the coffin, let everyone right across the UK who is saying no to this system to stand up with a single voice and say no. Let every application on every insensitive site be opposed to the best of that communities ability, the communities of Devon and Cornwall have shown us the way, let us now take the bull by the horn and charge this system into the history books. Help for local communities is readily available from Mast Sanity, both from our WEB site www.mastsanity.org and from our helpline 0161 959 0999 requesting our free information pack".

 If a two year delay in implementing the system can be announced then no longer can the Operator 02 claim that it is important to rush these installations through. Therefore, a moratorium on the further expansion of the system should be ordered until research results are known. That is the sensible way forward, rather than subjecting thousands of local communities to misery and stress implementing a system that has not been demonstrated to be safe, and which has resulted in hundreds of serving police officers reporting ill as a result of the handsets. Or will we have to wait until police officers are admitted to hospital before action is taken. Whilst the Government is set to spend £billions on a war in Iraq, they are also prepared to spend even more on implementing a system that could see as many serious injuries as will be inflicted by that war being inflicted on our own police force.

END.

 EDITORS NOTE: For more information phone the Mast Sanity Media Office on or our national helpline on 0161 959 0999. For more Info on TETRA go to our TETRA Forum www.mastsanity.org/Tetra/TETRA1.htm


NATIONAL PHONE MAST RALLY - LONDON 8th MARCH 2003 - 12 NOON - HYDE PARK CORNER LARGEST EVER UK PHONE MAST PROTEST

<TOP>

 

For immediate release - 20th December 2002

GOVERNMENT PUBLIC FINANCE COMMITTEE SLAM COST OF 'TETRA' (Airwave)

A powerful Government Committee has published a damming report on the cost to the taxpayer of the roll-out of the new Police radio system TETRA (Airwave).  They say that the cost of the system will be double the original estimates, from £1.5billion to in excess of £3billion. The report concludes that, "Airwave might be more sophisticated and expensive than it really needs to be …… It is significant that individual police authorities and the fire service cited the cost of Airwave as their reason for being unwilling to subscribe to it ….. The remedies available to the Home Office if the system does not work will not fully compensate police forces for the disruption and operational risks that would inevitably follow".

 

The question has to be asked - are the Home Office misleading the public on the question of the issue of the health of Police Officers? A letter received by Mast Sanity from the Home Office, whilst not specifically admitting that there is a health risk to Officers, takes great pains NOT to deny such a risk. This when compared to the evidence of Home Office officials when answering questions put to them by the Committee, who again do not deny that some officers have complained of illnesses that they contribute to these radios (see note below).

 

CHRis this last sentence doesn’t make sense… don’t know what you are trying tosay at all…  is it the fact that the 2 separate points shows that they def do not deny a helath risk.

 

The report also states that there are still problems knowing whether the system can be used in Major Cities, after the system was found not to work in parts of Manchester.  They will not know whether it will work in these areas for another 2 years.

 

It is clear from the report, and the questions that many of the Committee were asking, that they were not happy with the high cost, the profit margins and the lack of financial benefit to UK Tax payers, as a result of no profits, if the system is sold off.  They were not very happy at the unproven nature of the system, and whether it actually gave value for money in terms of police resources as well as the fact that health and safety issues had not been factored into the costing.

 

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "The report shows that despite many reservations, the Home Office is hell bent on pushing ahead with a system that is proving very costly, has not been proven to be capable of delivering the service that it is intended for, and has serious health implications for the users. Whilst questions were not raised relating to the effect on sensitive electronic equipment, concerns are still being raised by the Medical Devices Agencies that TETRA handsets interfere with life saving and other medical equipment. It is surely time that sanity ruled the day and that this system is put on hold until these very serious issues are resolved".

 

Mast Sanity Director, Lisa Oldham, said "It has been reported that over 200 Police Officers have suffered illness as a direct result of the use of TETRA handsets.  Yet as this report demonstrates there is no user base that enables a proper research study to take place on real people. All of the statements on the potential health risk relate to laboratory studies and therefore we must ask the question, just how many of our police officers have to report ill before a stop is put to the use of ordinary police officers being used as guinea pigs, whilst attempting to do their work protecting the public?"

END.

 

EDITORS NOTE: For further information Tel: (Media Office) or 0161 959 0999 (Helpline)

 

See House of Commons Public Accounts Committees 64th Report

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmpubacc/783/78302.htm

 

The following is a series of questions and answers taking from the minutes of the Committee that relate to the health issue.

 

Mr Richard Bacon - M.P. is asking the questions

Mr Asque is from the Science and Technology Unit, at the Home Office

 

 240. How many policemen have complained that their radios are making them ill?
  (Mr Asque) A number of people have expressed concerns on the health issues.

  241. How many?
  (Mr Asque) The numbers are not fed directly to us. We get representations from the Police Federation, which we have been in contact with, answering the concerns on behalf of their members. We have not dealt directly with policemen.

  242. I am looking at a letter in the police magazine from March 2002 from a Mr Nigel Wood from Lancashire who writes that he knows personally of new cases of skin problems, sleeplessness, migraines, depression, difficulty in concentrating and headaches. In the December 2001 issue there is reference to TETRA causing a variety of things including potentially heart and blood disorders, affecting the brain electro-chemistry, increasing the risk of leukaemia and so on. What is the current state of play on the health research?
  (Mr Asque) The current state is that we are addressing all of the recommendations which were made in the report you referred to. A list of recommendations was drawn up and we have research projects going on all of those recommendations, addressing them in great detail.

  243. Do the research projects have people wearing these things and making them operate and then checking out whether they get migraine or depression or whether they lose concentration?
  (Mr Asque) Projects are being developed which will have that sort of aspect. At the moment we do not have a user base. We are in negotiation with one of the police forces which has offered to participate in a trial of that order, but it has not started yet.

  244. That was July 2001. It is now April 2002 and you have just said that at the moment you do not have a user base. Do you not have people you can test this on?
  (Mr Asque) The issue is that there is no proof that there are any of these effects.

  245. I did not say there was. Nine months after that July 2001 report and a more recent report you say you do not have a user base, you do not have a bunch of people on whom you can test it specifically not relating to operability or interoperability but specifically relating to health. Is that correct? You do not have a user base of such people?
  (Mr Asque) The Airwave service is only now being rolled out. We have done work in the laboratory, we have done a lot of experimental work in the laboratory prior to the final trial which we are doing as part of a health programme which is not directly led by the Home Office. It is part of the mobile phone research.

  246. Are you responsible for the Home Office's input into health and safety on these issues?
  (Mr Asque) Yes, we are and we are feeding into the wider programmes because we have more users involved and a wider base of information.

  247. But you do not have a user base at the moment.
  (Mr Asque) We have had discussions with one police force who are going to collaborate with us.

  248. You have had discussions. I am just amazed. It was 1998 when you had the first review on effectiveness. Three years later you had a review on health safety specifically because of these concerns. Not quite a year later, but nearly a year later, you still do not have people to testify. Why not?
  (Mr Asque) There are two issues here. We have to have people using the system. At the moment we have a trial system and now we are starting operational use. We also have to have a research programme in which we have to agree how we measure this. This is very subjective. People will have concerns about this; it is a very emotive topic —

  249. These policemen are complaining about headaches and so on. You are in charge of health and safety. Have you thought of going along, getting on a train, going up to Manchester, participating, using it yourself and seeing whether you get headaches? It would be a quick way to move the thing forward, would it not?
  (Mr Asque) It would, but I suffer from headaches for all sorts of reasons and I cannot say whether it is due to using that handset or not. We need proper scientific trials to analyse these things because a lot of these things are so subjective.

  250. I am just amazed you have not started yet.
  (Mr Gieve) Vaughan is referring to a particular monitoring programme we are setting up with the forces which are starting to use Airwave. We actually have a whole programme of research, most of which has started, on the effects on rat brains and lots of biological stuff to try to find out whether, as has been alleged, features of this technology do have effects on animals and on biology. So far there is no reason to think they do.
  (Mr Parris) We take health and safety very, very seriously. The Airwave service operates within national and international guidelines which are laid down after years of research. Sure, more research is going on and it is absolutely right and proper that it should go on.

 

Chairman - Mr Edward Leigh M.P.

  264. If the research you are undertaking led to a belief or suspicion that the technology could be a health hazard, what effect would that have on the contract?
  (Mr Gieve) If there were evidence that this was damaging to health, then we would have to change it. First of all the police authorities as employers would have their obligations under health and safety. Secondly, O2 as suppliers of the technology have to meet all health standards, which they currently do. If research led us to change those health standards because of new science, then we would have to change the system.

 

For immediate release - 28th October 2002

TETRA COMMENTS TAKEN TO HOME SECRETARY

The alleged comments made by the Home Office Health and Safety Officer in charge of the TETRA (Police Radio System) Dr Mirielle Levy at an industry sponsored Conference for Police Federation Reps at Birmingham last week (23rd Oct) has now been reported to the Home Secretary David Blunkett with a demand that she be replaced by someone that has not already formed a view on the health implecations prior to the completion of research that she is in charge of.

The alleged comments at the heart of the Mast Sanity complaint are:

"I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial" South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied "They can always leave the force…nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guinea pigs". Other comments to questions put to her by delegates from the conference floor were: "What would happen I refused to use the equipment?" Dr Levy replied: "You would be required to use the equipment that you are issued, if you do not want to use the equipment then you could leave the force". Another delegate asked: "Who would be responsible if I contacted Leukaemia?" Dr Levy replied, "No one is"

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director said: "200 (176 in Lancashire, and 24 in North Yorkshire) Police Officers have reported sick as a direct result of the TETRA system, yet it has not yet been fully implemented. Lancashire, which ran the pilot scheme suffers the most with 174 offiers having reported ill effects, yet it is barely a year since it became operational. The full trials are going to last 15 years, before a final decision on whether it is a health risk, it takes little to calculate, that in Lancashire alone at this rate at the end of the trial 2610 officers will have become ill. When that is multiplied by the entire police force, and we have to ask, will there be any officers well enough to police the UK".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile continued: "Yes there must be research, yes some of that research must be in the field. What is not aceptable is the Government putting £2.5billion of tax payers money into a system that is not proven to be safe, and then put in charge an official who (if the alleged comments can be attibuted to her) would rather see police officers leave the force than protect them from the hazard in the first place".

END:

EDITORS NOTE: For your reference please find attached Mast Sanity letter to the Home Secretary.

Contact Mast Sanity on 0161 959 0999.

Rt. Hon David Blunkett MP

Home Office

Queen Anne's Gate

London

SW1H 9AT

28th October 2002

Dear Mr. Blunkett

RE: TETRA COMMENTS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE BY Dr MIRIELLE LEVY HOME OFFICE TETRA HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER.

It has been reported to Mast Sanity that Dr Mirielle Levy, who we understand is the Officer at the Home Office and is responsible for research projects into the new police radio service TETRA, stated: "I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial". South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied: "They can always leave the force… nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that: "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guinea pigs". Other comments to questions put to her by delegates from the conference floor were: "What would happen if I refused to use the equipment?". Dr Levy replied: "You would be required to use the equipment that you are issued, if you do not want to use the equipment then you could leave the force". Another delegate asked: "Who would be responsible if I contracted Leukaemia?". Dr Levy replied: "No one is".

It is our understanding that the first two of these comments were voiced by Dr Levy on the eve of the Police Federation Conference on TETRA held in Birmingham on the 23rd October at a packed public house to a party of academics and Federation Representatives who she was with. However, irrespective of the location or to whom she made these comments, her position can no longer be seen as tenable. It is our understanding that she is the official to whom officers affected by ill health thought to be associated with TETRA must report. Clearly as she starts from a biased stance, there is little prospect of a balanced view being forthcoming.

It is also our understanding that 174 police officers from the Lancashire force have already reported ill as a direct result of TETRA, as well as a further 20 Officers from the Yorkshire Force. We are also reliably informed that the only officer brave enough to speak out on this emotive topic has been moved to another section of the force. With so many officers having reported ill, there is clearly a problem, that cannot wait the 3 to 15 years for the results of ongoing research. Our police officers are clearly too valuable to be used as guinea pigs in this way. We therefore urge you, in the first instance, to replace Dr Levy with someone who will conduct the required research from an unbiased stance, and secondly to order a moritorium on the further use of the system until it is declared safe.

We are copying this letter to your opposite numbers in both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties, as well as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mobile Communications, with requests that if action is not forthcoming that the issue is raised in the House.

We look forward to your response with interest.

Yours sincerely,

 Ms. L.M. Oldham – Director Mast Sanity

 cc    Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP         - Shadow Home Secretary

        Simon Hughes MP                               - Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary

        Phil Willis MP - Chair All-Party       - Parliamentary Group on Mobile Communications

 

<TOP>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 24th OCTOBER 2002

POLICE RADIO's 'V' OFFICERS HEALTH THE BIG 'TETRA' DEBATE

CAMPAIGN DEMANDS HOME OFFICE APOLOGY

A big debate has taken place today (23rd Oct) in Birmingham on the question of the new Police Radio system TETRA. It is believed that at least 174 police officers have so far fallen ill as a direct result of using the new radio handsets, whilst concerns similar to those for mobile phones are being voiced by local communities across the UK that the emissions given out by TETRA base stations are harmful to health, particularly children.

HOME OFFICE SAYS POLICE ILL FROM THE EFFECTS OF TETRA CAN ALWAYS LEAVE THE FORCE

Mast Sanity has demanded an immediate response from the Home Secretary to clarify the comments alleged to have been made by Dr Mirielle Levy the Home Office Health and Safety Officer in charge of TETRA in relation to the 200 plus Police Officers in Lancashire who are said to have become ill as a consequence of using TETRA radios - "I don't believe they are sick, they are not sick enough to stop this trial" South West Police Federation Rep Steve Pearce is then alleged to have asked about the Police Officers who are ill, when Dr Levy is alleged to have replied "They can always leave the force…nothing will stop TETRA and if the Officers don't like it they can resign…". In the her final statement to the conference proper she is said to have stated that "They will be studying the health of the police for 10-15 years, but they are not guiney pigs".

Lisa Oldham Mast Sanity Director: "If the statement made by the Home Office is Government policy then the Home Secretary must immediately state in clear terms why the Government are more interested in implementing a system that has so far been demonstrated to have an effect upon the health of officers than what should be their primary concern the health of officers on the beat".

Lisa continued "It is inconvievable that the Government should commit '£2.5billion' to implementing this scheme, yet spend only '£7.4million' on research into all aspects of the safety of  telecommunication installations. Which clearly demonstrates that the Government have little concern for the welfare of individual police officers or members of the public, whether that is from TETRA or Mobile Phone Base Station. Their concern being clearly that of financial rather than the protection of health".

Barrie Trower who was commissioned by the Police Federation to report on TETRA stated after the conference "This has been a complete farce, a whitewash, that was more concerned with PR than debating the real concerns of ordinary police officers on the beat. It is clearly disappointing for the 200 officers who are ill as they have no representation, and they are not being believed".

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile concluded: "As an organisation that represents hundreds of local communities we are dismayed at the attitude of a high ranking Government Official making such irresponsible comments concerning the health of police officers. This official should be immediately replaced by a person that understands the concerns of those effected. These officers that are ill are not imaginary, they are real people policing our streets, in order to make them safe, yet the Government is prepared to send them out with tools that are puuting their health at risk. It is now time for a complete change in policy, along with a moritorium on the further expansion of the system until it is demonstrated that it is safe".

END.

EDITORS NOTE: For more information contact Mast Sanity Media Office 0161 427 7977 or our national helpline 0161 959 0999. Leading Academic Barry Trower who attended the conference but was not allowed to address the delegates can be contacted on 01626 821014.

 

<TOP>

For immediate release 8th July 2002 - 0161 959 0999

NEW RADIO SYSTEM SEES  POLICE DROP IN DROVES

With only 3 police forces turned onto the new Emergency Services Radio Service 'TETRA' it has emerged that 173 Officers in the Lancashire Force and 20 in the Yorkshire Force have now fallen ill as a direct or indirect result of using the new radios, it is asserted that of these 20 are considered to be serious. From the very beginning there have been concerned raised by academics and organisations such as Mast Sanity and its parent organisation the Campaign for Planning Sanity that the new system was unsafe and untested. These alarming figures that are due to be updated in the next few days puts a clear question mark over continued use of the entire system.

With a question mark over the Manchester forces continued use of the system after its recent withdrawal due to technical problems, coupled to the refusal of he majority of Ambulance and Fire Authorities to take up the system. Mean there are real questions to be asked over the Governments 2.5 billion pound funding.

Mast Sanity Chair Chris Maile said "These significant levels of health effects on officers although mainly consisting of minor ailments such as nose bleeds and headaches must put a serious question mark over the service. And requires a Ministerial statement that the system will be suspended until further investigations are undertaken. It is vitally important that our police officers are protected from the adverse effects of untested equipment. Especially as this effects have been known for some time, and were clearly pointed to in the report by the renowned scientist Barry Trower commissioned by a South West branch of the Police Federation'.

Mast Sanity will be raising these concerns with the Home Office in the near future.  In the mean time we urge restraint in the implementation of the continued role out of the system. And that measures are put into place to halt further use of the equipment until such time as a clean bill of health can be given to all officers, and members of the public.

END

EDITORS NOTE: More info from Chris Maile on 0161 959 0999.

The following is taken from the March edition of the Police Federation Magazine letters page:

RADIO HEADS

I am writing to you to express my concern and amazement at the report by B Trower that is circulating freely in the Lancashire Police area regarding TETRA radio.

I find it unbelievable that Lancashire officers are still having to use these radios as there would appear to be an increased and surely now measurable number of instances of ill-health directly attributable to the electromagnetic wave frequency used by TETRA.

I personally know of new cases of skin problems, sleeplessness, migraines, depression, difficulty in concentrating and headaches.

We need firm action now to prevent our colleagues being further exposed to this needless electromagnetic radiation.

Nigel R Wood, Lancashire

Anger Grows as the health of the nation is threatened and freedom of information denied as OFCOM, DTI and ODPM hide behind a wall of conspiracy, misinformation and lies.

STOP PRESS – 2 March 2006 The ODPM have released the ARUP today

The ODPM, in collusion with the Department of Trade and Industry and OFCOM, are ignoring calls by councils, MPs. MEPs and phone mast campaigners, as well as their own advisors for planning controls, to prevent the further despoliation of this country by the telecoms industry.

In ignoring calls by Sir William Stewart, the All Party Group on mobiles, councils, MPs, MEPs, mast campaigners and others to control the relentless spread of phone masts across the country, the ODPM has continued to allow the mobile operators to ignore (self-regulatory) codes of practice and guidelines and ride roughshod over the rights of individuals.

DEVIOUS means used include refusing two separate requests for information by campaigners under the Freedom of Information Act, and secret high-level meetings with mobile phone operators in order to maintain the present system, all aimed at facilitating the installation of mobile phone masts behind the backs of people whose democratic rights are being violated.

There is currently no regulation of the Mobile Industry in this country. Indeed, one of the requests denied under the Freedom of Information Act was for the findings of the ARUP study, which focused on how the Mobile Operators comply with the SELF-REGULATORY Codes of Best Practice and Ten Commitments. Campaigners believe that one of the reasons that the ARUP Study has not been released by the Government is because of the forthcoming auction of licences for the new Broadband regime next week, which completely by-passes local planners and the public. A report that very probably states that greater planning controls are needed will not go down very well when a regime to expand broadband which has NO planning controls whatsoever, is about to be introduced.

The other request under the Freedom of Information act was made to OFCOM for statistics on the number of phone masts in Wales. This has also been met with a wall of silence.

“The refusal of these requests, and the arrogant and unaccountable manner in which they have been denied are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mast Sanity Trustee, Amanda Wesley.

“Our democratic and human rights are being violated by the conduct of the ODPM, OFCOM and the DTI. One has to ask if the Freedom of Information Act or any report commissioned by the Government is worth the paper it is written on when they only seem prepared to release information that will not expose or embarrass them. The same applies to the Litchfield Report and the Stewart Report, both of which included the removal of permitted development rights, along with other recommendations which were ignored. This Government seems concerned only with protecting the commercial interests of the mobile phone industry no matter what the impact on ordinary people is.”

Mast Sanity also believes that enormous pressure is being put on MPs to snub the forthcoming Telecommunications Masts (Planning Control) Bill which will be debated in the House this Friday, when it is presented by David Curry for its second reading.

“This is the third attempt to get a Private Members Bill through parliament to tighten planning controls on phone masts, yet here we are again with MPs coming up with the same excuses as to why they can't attend on Friday. They are in parliament to represent their constituents and it's about time they made a stand and stood up for the democratic rights of their constituents. If MPs don't turn up on Friday then they can't look their constituents in the eye and claim to support a precautionary principle”

says Mast Sanity press officer Sian Meredith.

“It's simply not good enough to use the excuse that there's no point in turning up because they don't think they can make a difference. If that's the case they may as well not bother ever turning up in parliament at all! The ODPM, OFCOM and the DTI are ignoring the welfare and human rights of a growing number of people, yet no-one is making them accountable for the underhand ways in which they are advancing the interests of the mobile operators. Only MPs can implement legislation to stop this. There is growing anger amongst ordinary people.
“These cosy chats behind closed doors between the Mobile Operators Association and their members and the Government, aimed at promoting and protecting the unique perks enjoyed by the industry are undemocratic. We need a serious investigation into the activities of the ODPM , OFCOM and the DTI, and the industry NOW to stop this disgraceful state of affairs from continuing.”

Notes for Editors

ARUP report - in 2004 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister commissioned a study by the University of Reading and Arup to assess the impact that the code of best practice has had since its introduction and how local authorities have implemented the code and how the public perceives its operation. The ODPM received this report in March 2005.

This Private Members Bill was previously presented by Richard Spring in April 2004, when the bill achieved a clear majority, but was not attended by enough MPs to make it onto the statute books, and Andrew Stunnell, in March of last year, when it was talked out of time.

Litchfield Report para 21.32 recommended that railway telecommunications masts be subject to tighter controls, and there was a general recommendation to remove permitted development rights for all Part 24 installations, as well as bringing into the same process all other telecom networks that are catered for by Part 25.

The Stewart Report (2005) recommended that all masts be brought under full planning permission and again there was a recommendation for the removal of permitted development rights which was ignored.