23
Nov
2005

ORANGE PIPPED: Parishioners force phone mast U-turn

This is an area to watch which could succeed. Good ideas, sheer guts and persistence, and a determined team effort.

ORANGE PIPPED: Parishioners force phone mast U-turn

Exclusive by Justin Dunn
Wirral Globe
23.11.05

MOBILE phone giant Orange has been locked out of a church it is paying £6,000 a year to house one of its phone masts, the Globe can reveal.

Upset ministers- previously in favour of the mast - changed their minds after a campaign in the Globe by residents and councillors.

Last Wednesday evening, they removed the combination padlock installed in Wallasey's Manor Church Centre tower and replaced it with one of their own.

"The continued presence of the mast will seriously damage the work of the church within its community," said the Reverend Ian Smith.

"We believe that the process that has been followed leading to the installation of the mast by Orange has severely damaged the relationship of trust between Manor Church Centre and its neighbours."

Liscard Labour councillor Christine Jones was even more blunt: "The church and its local community are saying to Orange: Get your tanks off our lawn.

"They should take heed, too, because this vociferous protest is not going to go away."

Campaigner Dr Tom Bolton added: "Nobody now blames the church for originally being embroiled in this sinister shadow over our environment."

The mast - which has still not been activated - is inside the bell-tower of the church in Manor Road.

Reverend Smith has also indicated that negotiations with Vodafone to install a second mast "should cease with immediate effect".

An Orange spokesman told the Globe: "This matter is now in the hands of our solicitors and on that basis we are unable to offer a comment."
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