18
Feb
2005

John Negroponte's appointment

John Negroponte's appointment is the latest evidence that President Bush is strengthening his cabinet's capacity to mislead Congress and trample civil liberties.

//www.tompaine.com/articles/hail_hail_the_gangs_all_here.php

Tort Catastrophe

by Dan Zegart, The Nation

Today the radical right cheers and citizens mourn as President Bush signs the class-action bill.

//www.tompaine.com/opinion/#003812

Besorgnis um das Überleben von Gemeinen Delfinen im Englischen Kanal

Tierschutz: Besorgnis um das Überleben von Gemeinen Delfinen im Englischen Kanal (18.02.05)

Die Ergebnisse einer Studie an Gemeinen Delfinen im Englischen Kanal während der Wintermonate haben die Besorgnis um das Überleben dieser Tiere verstärkt. Die Wal- und Delfinschutzorganisation WDCS fordert zusammen mit Greenpeace ein Verbot der Seebarsch-Schleppnetzfischerei im Kanal. In einem neuen Bericht geben Wissenschaftler der WDCS eine vorläufige Schätzung von 9700 Gemeinen Delfinen in dem Gebiet des Kanals, in dem während der Studie im vergangenen Winter auch die Hauptfischereiaktivitäten stattfanden.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php4?Nr=10489

Bush-Gegner klagen gegen "unbegründete" Demo-Auflagen

Bush-Demontration in Mainz: Bush-Gegner klagen gegen "unbegründete" Demo-Auflagen! (18.02.05)

Im Vorfeld des Besuchs von US-Präsident George W. Bush in Mainz gibt es Streit um Auflagen der Stadt für die Gegendemonstration. Das Aktionsbündnis "Not Welcome, Mr. Bush!" hat deshalb Widerspruch bei der Stadt eingelegt sowie eine Klage beim Mainzer Verwaltungsgericht eingereicht, wie Bündnissprecher Andreas Atzel am Freitag in Mainz sagte. Die Auflagen sollten Größe der Transparente und den Standort der Bühne für die Abschlusskundgebung festlegen. Atzel nannte das "inakzeptabel".

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:

//www.ngo-online.de/ganze_nachricht.php4?Nr=10481

John Negroponte soll oberster US-Geheimdienstchef werden

Wie US-Justizminister Gonzales und US-Heimatschutzminister Chertoff ist auch Negroponte mit Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Folter verbunden...

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/19/19487/1.html

A History of Secret Human Experimentation

//www.totse.com/en/conspiracy/institutional_analysis/165501.html

Informant: Mark Marks

Radiation Research Trust

NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2005

1. "TONIGHT WITH TREVOR McDONALD"

Broadcast ITV1 on 7 th February 2005 at 8.00pm. Highlighted at prime viewing time many of the issues raised by the Trust with the programme makers on the problems of electromagnetic radiation and its impact on an unsuspecting public. Well done Gerard Hyland and Eileen O’Connor for their contributions and also to the producers. The links are undernoted with the Trust featuring highly.

//www.itv.com/news/tonight_878099.html


2. SECOND DELOITTE REVIEW ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TEN COMMITMENTS

The Mobile Operators released their report of the code of best practice January 2005. You have to scroll down the page and the section is entitled “Second Deloitte Review on the Implementation of the Ten Commitments”.

//www.mobilemastinfo.com/planning/best_practice.htm


3. STAKE-HOLDER ROUNDTABLE MEETING 9 TH DECEMBER 2004

Arranged by Mobile Operators Association (MOA).

The main issues raised by one or more of the key stakeholders present were as follows:-

Re-establish community representative/activist and industry dialogue
Predicted power density calculations to be made publicly available
TLM ratings for de minimis developments should be made publicly available
Sitefinder database should be externally audited
PPG8 should be reviewed and clarified
The All Party Mobile report should be acted upon by Central Government
A clear definition of consultation should be established, and a calibration system, outlining responsibilities for consultation, should be introduced
Operators should ‘consult on health’, by providing balanced information
The planning system should clarify how to address the health issue
Health information should be provided through a credible, independent body
All base stations should be certified, based on their emissions
There should be improved publicity for the Ofcom RF monitoring service
Use of a broadband meter in RF monitoring should be considered
Treasury money from the £G auction should be used to fund further research or a public information system
A MTHR web-based Q&A facility may offer a credible, trusted information source – but this should be tested first
MTHR should allocate research funds into effective communication of the science
A standardised set of cross-industry information should be developed and sent out with all planning permission
A communications audit should be held
A planning roundtable should be held
Central contact points for each operators should be provided to all LPAs
LPAs should advise operators if agents are not applying the Code of Best Practice
The outcome of pre-application consultation should be forwarded to the LPA
The full report including papers presented should be available shortly on line. The MOA have promised that this will be later this month.

Alasdair Philips and Trust Chairman Mike Bell contributed vociferously to the debate along with Mast Action. But where are the sanctions to keep the industry in check? Are they in the courts? See the next item - The Nunn’s Story.


4. NUNN’S STORY - ONE OF REJECTION – AGAIN – IN THE ENGLISH COURT OF APPEAL 9 TH FEBRUARY 2005 – YORKSHIRE POST REPORT

The fight by Dr Nunn to overcome Leeds City Council being time-barred on the 56 day rule from objecting to T Mobile’s new 40 foot mast, 130 yards from her home in Bardsey, has been sadly lost in the Court of Appeal. ‘Sue the Council’ was the judges message to Dr Nunn delivered by Lord Justice Wall. The 56 day rule upheld by the Planning Inspector and the High Court again stressed the need for Councils to act speedily within the time-limit and for individuals to see they do.

//www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=55&ArticleID=940728

It is rough justice for Dr Nunn after spending £35k on legal fees to have to spend more in fees to pursue her case. Whose health is it anyway? Not T-Mobiles but Dr Nunn’s and her family…..

In the absence of real teeth to the so called 10 Commitments and an equivocal attitude towards masts from The Office of Deputy Prime Minister, think alternatives and please act within time-frames if you feel aggrieved at a new masts siting.


5. MASTS PLANNING CONTROL BILL – PROPOSED CHANGES LONG OVERDUE

SECOND READING 18 TH MARCH 2005

After renewed interest in the dangers of mobile phones and masts, Andrew Stunnell MP has presented to Parliament his private members bill, the Telecommunication Masts Planning Control Bill. If passed it will stop companies from putting up mobile masts without consulting local communities and gaining planning approval from the Local Authority. The Bill would bring in the so-called ‘precautionary principle’, giving planners more powers to refuse mast applications. It is due to have its second reading on the 18 th March (though may fail to be read as two other private members bills are scheduled for the same day). Said Andrew Stunnell, “The Government have backed out of repeated promises to change the planning laws. This Bill is long overdue and has cross-party support. It is a chance to make the Government take notice of the concerns of people all over the country.

The Bill would give extra protection to schools, medical facilities and homes from high radiation levels from all telecommunication masts.” (Andrew Stunnell MP, 18/01/05)

There is more than a whiff of General Election fever in the Westminster calendar with 5 th May being widely tipped as ‘E’ Day.


6. RESEARCH - ISRAEL - APRIL 2004

The Wolf’s Paper on the “Increased Incidence of Cancer Near a Cell-phone Transmitter Station” published in the “International Journal of Cancer Prevention”, Volume 1, Number 2, April 2004 found an increased risk of women developing cancer when they lived within 350 metres of a 10 metre high mast – again seems to support the case for exclusion zones.

See latest research with Powerwatch’s comments:

//www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20050207_tonight.asp


7. IRISH DOCTORS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCAITION

Congratulations to the Irish Doctors Environmental Association for highlighting the problems of the 5% of the population that may be hypersensitive to electromagnetic radiation and advising people, especially children, to limit their use of phones, and if electro sensitive to try to stay away from mobile phones masts.

See articles by Mark Prigg Science Correspondent Evening Standard – 9 th February 2005

//www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/16470166?source=Evening%20Standard

and Louise Prigg - Scotsman - 9 th February 2005

//news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4111721


8. BRITISH COLUMBIA

A local ordinance has been introduced to prohibit the siting of cellular phone masts or antennae on school buildings and grounds:

TITLE: Prohibiting the siting of Cellular Phone Masts or Antennae on School buildings and School grounds.

BET IT RESOLVED THAT: BCCPAC urge school boards and municipal governments to prohibit the siting of cell or mobile phone masts aka antennae in any areas regularly used by students such as school buildings and school ground.

RATIONALE: Parents are concerned about potential health risks to youth and therefore will be concerned about allowing the siting of cell base stations at their schools. There is still much controversy regarding the effects of Radio Frequency Radiation, even at very low levels, on biological systems and scientific research has been unable to provide proven safe exposure limits. Exercising a practice of prudent avoidance and limiting exposures to known or suspected agents such as RFR would be expected especially where there may be additional health risks for children due to their smaller sizes, makeup and less developed bodies that are still undergoing significant physiological changes.

Health problems associated with exposures to RFR include: depression, irritability, headache, ringing in the ears, cardiovascular problems and sleep disruption (1); leukaemia (2); decreased reproductive function (3); motor function, memory and attention of school children affected (4).

Dr Henry Lai, a bioengineer at the University of Washington and leading expert in the bioeffects of electromagnetic radiation has studied this file for 2 decades. He is quoted ”Exposure of RFR from mobile telephones is of a short term, repeated nature at relatively high intensity, whereas exposure to RFR emitted from cell masts is of long duration but at a very low intensity. The biological and health consequences of these exposure conditions need further understanding.” He is also quoted, “I have come to the conclusion that exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) from use of mobile phones and possibly from chronic exposure to phone masts and transmission towers, has not been proven to be safe. To deny any possible health effects from RFR emitted from wireless communication devices is scientifically not defensible given the growing evidence of RFR bioeffects.”

A report from the Royal Society of Canada, “A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radio Frequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices”, March 1999 has comments and conclusions found within it that indicate there is more research to be done regarding bioeffects of RFR. For example, on page 9, Health Effects, Toxicological Studies they comment “Because DNA damage can result in serious health consequences, the possibly that low energy non-thermal RF filed exposures can cause DNA damage remains a concern. Further research is needed to clarify this possibility.” In the conclusion of this document by an expert panel, on page 109, we find “The panel also believes that many of the studies in humans and animals addressing the potential for adverse health effects do not have sufficient power to rule out completely any possibility of such effects existing. The panel supports additional research in this area.”

Preliminary Study of Symptoms Experienced by People Living in Vicinity of Cellular Phone Base Stations, Santini, R. et al, 2002 Hocking, 1996, Dolk 1997 Magras and Xenos, 1997 Kolodynski, 1996 Two books from journalist B. Blake Levitt are recommended reading:

Cell Towers Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard? Proceedings of the “ Cell Towers Forum” State of the Science/State of the Law December 2, 2000. Electromagnetic Fields A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. (1995). DESTINATION: B.C. ministry of Education, B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, B.C. School Trustees Association, B.C. Association of Municipalities.


9. FORMBY MEETING 17 TH JANUARY 2005

Our Formby meeting filmed by "Trevor McDonald’ was extremely well-attended (around 200 people) and lively. Further meetings in Lancashire have been requested.


10. THE STEWART REPORT MARK II - PUBLISHED 11 TH JANUARY 2005

//www.radiationresearch.org/press.htm

NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2005:

Following the Stewart Report Mark II, our response is being framed along with that of other pressure groups.

We anticipate this will incorporate some of the views expressed on our website along with those of the Trustees and we will look to Government action to implement a planning regulatory regime more in keeping with its publicly stated adherence to the “Precautionary Principles.”


Michael J Bell
Chairman


Informant: Don Maisch

American cover-up of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan

//www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0947

American cover-up of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan

//www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0947

Iran calls on all Muslims to unite in defence

//www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0945

Residents protest at mobile mast in Brighton

Cathy Warden discusses the campaign against the mobile mast

Furious residents in Brighton are campaigning against proposals to put up a mobile phone mast in a residential area 200m from a school.

The site at the junction of Pankhurst Avenue and Queens Park Road, is one of more than 12 being considered by T-Mobile for 3G video phone masts.

The company said its masts are safe but it has invited comments about the plans in line with codes of practice.

"Nobody knows what the long-term health effects are," said mother Cathy Warden.

Campaigners say radiation experts cannot guarantee the 3G masts, which operate at higher frequency than normal masts, are completely safe.

The residential area near St Luke's where the mast would be sited

"The fact that we are worried about it is detrimental to our daily lives," said Ms Warden, whose three children go to St Luke's School and who is helping to organise a protest petition.

T-Mobile does not have to apply for planning permission because the mast is less than 15m tall but it does have to obtain a form of permission called prior approval.

The company said it understood residents' concerns but its network's signal strength was similar to those in people's homes from TV and radio.

It said it needed the new masts to meet demand for mobile phones.

But campaigner Paul Bonnet said: "This government talks about neighbourhood renewal and consultation with communities but things seem to be happening without any consultation with local people."


//news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/4274763.stm

© BBC MMV


Informant: Sandi


Masts in Brighton
//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/masts_in_brighton.htm


From Mast Network


DANGER: TETRA on the roof of a Brighton Hospital
//omega.twoday.net/stories/521829/

Request for Hearings by House Members

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/021705W.shtml


Informant: Debi Clark

Prime Minister Martin poised to make critical decision on vehicle emissions

One of the most serious threats to Canada's implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is the Government’s reluctance to regulate industry - especially the car industry. Canada's Kyoto plan sets a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by 5.2 megatonnes by 2010. However, instead of setting enforceable regulations, as California has done with its Clean Car Legislation, the Canadian government is counting on the auto-industry to lower vehicle emissions voluntarily. While auto-makers have agreed to voluntary reductions, they will not agree to an overall emission standard, and are actively trying to undermine California's Clean Car Legislation.

Tell Prime Minister Martin the auto-industry must be regulated! To ensure we meet our Kyoto obligations, auto-makers must meet targets that are transparent and enforceable. Paul Martin’s decision is not only an important Canadian issue, but could play a significant role in achieving low emission vehicles throughout North America.

Along with Prime Minister Paul Martin, your letter will go to your MP and MLA/MPP if you are in Canada. Please enter your postal code or country to display the appropriate action letter.

//www.actionworks.ca/clientfiles/syc/actioncentres/syc/takeaction.jsp

Chancen und Risiken neuer Polizeitechnik

Freitag, 18. Februar 2005

Chancen und Risiken neuer Polizeitechnik

Innenministerium will mehr Rechte für die Polizei / Datenschützer warnen

Schwerin • Die Polizei rüstet auf. Ihre technische Ausrüstung zur Verbrechensbekämpfung entwickelt sich rasant. Für den Einsatz sollen Rechtsgrundlagen erweitert werden. Doch vor allem Datenschützer sind skeptisch. Drei Beispiele.

Von Thomas Volgmann

Standortbestimmung über Handy

Mindestens in 80 Fällen ermittelte die Polizei in MV in den vergangenen Jahren den Aufenthaltsort eines Gesuchten allein über dessen Handy. Zumeist handelte es sich nach internen Angaben des Landeskriminalamtes (LKA) bei den Gesuchten um Menschen, die ihren Selbstmord geplant oder zumindest angekündigt hatten.

Möglich wurden die erfolgreichen Suchaktionen auch durch sogenannte IMSI-Catcher der Polizei. Das Gerät simuliert die Funkstation eines Handy-Betreibers. Alle eingeschalteten Handys in der Umgebung buchen sich auf der ständigen Suche nach der besten Funkverbindung automatisch beim IMSI-Catcher ein und liefern Angaben über Telefon- sowie Kartennummern und zeigen ihren Standort an. Darüber hinaus können mit dem Gerät Gespräche abgehört werden.

Doch eindeutige rechtliche Regelungen für den Einsatz fehlen bislang. Dafür will Innenminister Gottfried Timm (SPD) jetzt das Sicherheits- und Ordnungsgesetz ändern.

Allerdings warnt der stellvertretende Datenschutzbeauftragte des Landes, Gabriel Schulz, generell vor dem legitimierten Einsatz von IMSI-Catcher: "Die Gefahr von Missbrauch ist groß, Kontrollen schwierig." Datenschützer anderer Bundesländer verweisen darauf, dass so "der Mobilfunk zur Kontrolle ganzer Bevölkerungsteile verkommt".

Lesesysteme für Kennzeichen

Geplant ist auch der Einsatz von Kennzeichen-Lesesystemen. Bislang kamen diese Geräte in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern noch nicht zum Einsatz. Doch ein System wurde bereits von der Landespolizei angeschafft. Ein Einsatzkonzept wird im LKA erarbeitet. Stationär oder mobil können mit dem Lesesystem die Kennzeichen aller vorbeifahrenden Fahrzeuge erfasst werden. Die Methode soll beim Schutz von Objekten und bei der Fahndung nach gestohlenen Autos zum Einsatz kommen. Datenschützer wie Gabriel Schulz sind nicht generell gegen die neue Fahndungsmethode. "Es muss aber gesetzlich festgelegt sein, das Kennzeichen sofort gelöscht werden, die nicht im Fahndungsbestand sind", fordert Schulz. Nur so könne Datenmissbrauch vorgebeugt werden.

Videoaufnahmen von Verkehrskontrollen

Künftig sollen Personen- und Verkehrskontrollen vom Polizeiwagen aus auf Video aufgezeichnet werden. Dabei geht es um die Eigensicherung der Beamten. "Angriffe können dokumentiert und die Täter schneller gefasst werden", erklärt Innenminister Gottfried Timm.

Hier fordern Datenschützer, dass alle betroffenen Personen über die Aufnahmen aufmerksam gemacht und die Videos spätestens nach 24 Stunden gelöscht werden.

//www.svz.de/newsmv/MVPolitik/18.02.05/1042130/1042130.html


Nachricht von der BI Bad Dürkheim

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

(Fixed 1st audio clip) NSA (National Security Agency) insider comes forward with stunning disclosures "Economic Hit Man". Rarely does the public get an opportunity to learn what has really been going on.

John Perkins has "risked it all" by publishing his book ,"Economic Hit Man", only 3 months ago. This will answer a LOT OF QUESTIONS many have been suspecting.

I know most do not like to make time to listen to audio clips. You will want to make an exception this time. Normally, I try to limit my excerpts to 1 or 2 - 10 minute audio segments. The 3 1/2 hour interview had so many disclosures, which we seldom, if ever, learn about, that I could not ignore them...thus the length of this particular set of audio clip excerpts.

I STRONGLY REQUEST THAT THIS GET FORWARDED TO ALL IN YOUR LISTS!

Jack Topel



"Economic Hit Man"

John Perkins, the founder of Dream Change Coalition, shared the story of the time he spent as an international 'economic hit man' after being recruited by the National Security Agency. He defined an 'economic hit man' as someone who assists in cheating developing countries and US taxpayers, by funneling money from the World Bank to the wealthy in the private sector.

Note: first clip has been fixed
1. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149311&f=KOFPZR&ps=13&p=1
(10 min)
2. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149210&f=KZGVCX&ps=13&p=1
(10 min)
3. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149212&f=VUJLDZ&ps=13&p=1
(8 min)
4. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149216&f=HPPHUG&ps=13&p=1
(10 min)
5. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149218&f=RVNOPG&ps=13&p=1
(10 min)
6. //PlayAudio-123.com/play.asp?m=149222&f=BQCYYB&ps=13&p=1
(4 min)

Those wanting to listen to entire 3 1/2 hour interview go to: //www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2005/02/15.html

--------

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions

We speak with John Perkins, a former respected member of the international banking community. In his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man he describes how as a highly paid professional, he helped the U.S. cheat poor countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars by lending them more money than they could possibly repay and then take over their economies.

Watch it now! Real video and transcript.
//207.44.245.159/article8171.htm

Fury over council-approved mast

Berrylands residents are organising a petition against a mobile phone mast application approved by the council.

They are also furious because they claim there was not enough consultation about the siting of the eight-metre Orange mast in Raeburn Avenue.

Approval for the mast was granted at a Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee meeting on January 26.

The 56 days allowed for objections expires tomorrow. Twenty-one objections were received on grounds of health risk and visual impact.

Sam Saber, manager of Raeburn Autos, said: "I object to the mast on health grounds because there is no scientific evidence that masts are not harmful."

Vanessa Bulbeck, of Meldone Close, claimed many of the residents in the 123 households consulted received a council letter on January 20 about the mast which was dated January 6. This left them just six days before the meeting.

Jim Keywood, who lives in nearby Austin Gardens, said: "We are being rode rough-shod over by the council approving this application."

Surbiton Councillor Patricia Franks said: "The objection is the siting of the mast very near dwellings. But the council cannot object apart from visual impact on surroundings.

"We cannot cite health hazards as a factor because Government guidelines claim they are safe."

The mast is intended to improve coverage from Surbiton Hill Park to the junction of Raeburn Avenue with Elgar Avenue, bounded to the east by Elmbridge Avenue and west by Manor Drive.

An Orange spokesman said: "This is a small transmitter, which needs to be within a few hundred metres of phone-users.

"Because more and more people are buying mobile phones, we need more transmitters for them to work.

"There is no evidence that mobile phone masts cause health risks, given the existing level of precautions."

A council spokeswoman said: "As we didn't receive any objections which raised new planning considerations, prior approval is not required for the siting and appearance of the proposed equipment.

4:01pm Thursday 17th February 2005

//www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/headlines/display.var.571449.0.fury_over_councilapproved_mast.php


Informant: Sandi

From Mast Network

Phone mast applications can slip through the net

Vodafone has made a planning application for a 10m monopole on East End Road, Finchley, adjacent to the Wilf Slack sports ground, near the junction with Windermere Avenue (planning ref: C16110/04).

Together with neighbours and parents at St Theresa's Primary School (which my son attends), we have sent 154 individual letters, plus three petitions, opposing this mobile phone mast.

Our reasons for objection are: current health regulations for masts not yet proven to be adequate; close proximity to St Theresa's, Akiva Primary School and nursery, Avenue House grounds, Wilf Slack sports ground (used by schools who do not have their own playing field) and the Manor House in the Sternberg Centre, which is a grade II* listed building; the proposed mast will be unsuitable for a residential area of traditional character and the sight of the mast as residents walk or drive by will be a constant reminder to those who are worried about health issues associated with masts.

I am particularly concerned as the mast will overlook my back garden and I have two children aged two and seven.

As the Government have accepted £22 billion in licence fees from the five main mobile phone operators, these phone companies now want to get their masts up so that they can obtain widespread 3G coverage.

I predict that Barnet planning department will receive many applications for these masts (four so far in January) and if your readers do not look out for public notices in the papers, or the green, laminated signs attached to lampposts, then they will lose the opportunity to oppose them.

Many of our local residents had no idea about the proposed mast in East End Road and were very concerned to hear about it.

Susan Liu
Pavilion Mews
Finchley

2:00pm Thursday 17th February 2005

© Copyright 2001-2004 Newsquest Media Group - A Gannett Company


From Mast Network

Phone mast health shock

Warning signals

Controversy: mobile phone masts perched on top of a tower block in Bell Lane, Hendon. Despite reassurances from the Government about the safety of such masts, a decision taken last week could result in restrictions on where they are placed

By Lawrence Marzouk

More than 300 mobile phone masts are operating in the borough, with clusters close to primary schools and main shopping districts, research revealed this week.

The announcement that Barnet has 315 masts follows a groundbreaking decision by a Government planning inspector to reject a plan for a mast partly because of fears about electromagnetic waves.

Attempts to install phone antennae near a Manchester school were thwarted last week by inspector George Baird, who, for the first time, acknowledged that such fears were relevant to his decision'.

In Barnet at least six primary schools have five or more mobile phone masts within 400 metres of their gates. Barnfield Primary School, in Silkstream Road, Burnt Oak, has eight masts within 200 metres.

Barnet's High Street has the highest concentration of masts in the borough, with 22 along a one-mile stretch. Finchley, Hendon, Cricklewood and Tally Ho Corner all have at least eight phone masts in the vicinity of shopping areas.

And while the ward of Hampstead Garden Suburb has only nine masts, the less affluent area of Burnt Oak has the most in the borough with 22.

Planning permission is not required to erect a mobile phone mast, although the council can reject an application most often on appeal.

The councillor responsible for planning in Barnet, Melvin Cohen, has agreed to look into the planning inspector's case, and said that if perceived health risks can be taken into account, it would strengthen the council's position for rejecting antennae.

"My party is looking at ways of tightening up the legislation," he said. "If inspectors are actually making a key change, it is something we would wish to look at.

"Our hands are tied on the issue. I think the Government has accepted huge sums of money for the 3G third-generation mobile phone technology and they are making things easy for the phone mast companies to erect masts."

Councillor Monroe Palmer, leader of the Lib Dems, spearheaded the fight against mobile phone masts when his party was in power. "Mobile phone companies would find it more difficult to put a mobile phone mast in Hampstead Garden Suburb because people protect their environment more," he said. "It's more likely in areas where there is less organisation."

A series of Government reports have not been able to find any evidence that phone masts affect the health of those who live, study, or work around them.

1:17pm Thursday 17th February 2005

© Copyright 2001-2004 Newsquest Media Group - A Gannett Company


Informant: Sandi

From Mast Network



Phone mast health shock

George Baird, from the Planning Inspectorate, said concern about health risks was one reason for rejecting an appeal by mobile giant Orange.

FRESH doubts about the safety of mobile phone masts near schools have been triggered by a government inspector.

George Baird, from the Planning Inspectorate, said concern about health risks was one reason for rejecting an appeal by mobile giant Orange.

It wanted to put a 15-metre mast 100 metres from Clarendon Fields Community Primary School in Dukinfield, Tameside. It is thought to be the first time health concerns have been cited by a government inspector blocking a phone mast.

In his report, Mr Baird wrote: "The reason for refusal refers to concern about the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields from the proposed equipment, given that the site adjoins the Clarendon Fields Community Primary School, public open space and houses in Clarendon Street and Angel Close.

"I acknowledge that such fears are relevant to my decision."

Geoff Williams from Mast Sanity, which campaigns against phone masts in sensitive areas, said: "I believe that it is the first time that an inspector has used safety as a reason. The government advice remains confusing.

"In their guidelines they say in one paragraph health can be considered then, in the next, health doesn't need to be considered. "I believe the inspector's words in this case will give a lot of hope to a lot of people."

Mr Baird's other reasons for refusal were the "harsh and hostile appearance" of the mast and its "conflict with development plan policy".

Decision

Members of the Speakers Panel, which considers planning applications for Tameside Council, read Mr Baird's report and voted unanimously to reject an application to erect a scaled-down version of the mast in the grounds of Dukinfield Cricket Club, adjoining the school.

The panel voted to uphold the inspector's decision on the "perceived health risks".Local councillors, residents and school head Martin Kelly objected to the application.

A report by British scientists from the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation said exposure levels from mobile base stations were extremely low and "unlikely" to pose a health risk.
But Tameside councillor John Taylor said: "When an expert finally says `yes they are definitely safe', then I will believe they are.

"I might not know all the technical data, but the inspector's explanation for refusal is very clear."

A spokesman for Orange said: "Planning guidance means the decision maker is entitled to weigh public concerns as part of the process. "There is no evidence linking mobile technology with ill health."

In November last year, the Appeal Court threw out a test case over a decision to allow the siting of a mobile phone mast near three schools.

The decision came months after three giant mobile firms won a High Court battle for the right to put up a 25-metre mast in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, despite health concerns and opposition from deputy prime minister John Prescott.

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