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Church antennae & leukaemia

Awful news...

You may remember (esp Sandi who helped me immensely) that I was fighting QS4 in April/May, who wanted to put six antennae on the Church my daughter attends, and that my friend had just moved down the road from.

Permission was granted (despite letters to Planning) at 'officer level' so residents didn't even get a say in the matter.

My friend rang me this morning to tell me that one of her neighbours (who lives 180 metres away) was told yesterday that she has developed leukaemia (apparently in the last week) and is going into hospital today for further tests and chemo today. It's just horrible.

I've emailed the agent to find out exactly when the installation was switched on - I'm not mentioning my friends neighbour at the moment.

I'm really not sure what to do - I was wondering if it might be worth getting the signal strengths etc properly documented... My friend (and I) feel that the family should be informed, not least for the sake of the lady's young children, but she is understandably loathe to upset them further at this stage, while the news is still sinking in.

I've haven't gone into too many specifics on this public forum, but would certainly appreciate any ideas and suggestions. My email is ashields_at_onetel.net

Thanks - Angie

How can I find out where the nearest mobile phone base station is?

Charles Arthur
Thursday September 21, 2006
The Guardian

//technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1876700,00.html

Presently, by looking at Ofcom's Sitefinder site. But in the near future it'll probably be arriving at a Google Maps-style mashup near you. That could be interesting for a number of reasons.

First, the Sitefinder site is painfully slow and imprecise; it feels as though you're being discouraged from finding anything out. Secondly, even though this data is not government-generated (the masts' operators provide it to Ofcom), it might provide an interesting example of the hypothesis behind the Free Our Data campaign, which suggests that making non-personal data available will encourage commercial spinoffs that exploit it.

The release of the data was ordered by the Information Commissioner, responding last week to a request from a consumer group under the Environmental Information Regulations. It wanted the locations of mobile communications masts run by the five mobile networks, the Airwave emergency system and Network Rail (for trackside communication with train drivers). Ofcom has protested that releasing the data to the public - which would surely lead to sites showing mast locations in great detail, with the names of operators - would discourage operators from providing it at all. Apparently, operators fear rivals will pinpoint holes in their network and exploit that weakness to boost sales there; and that vandalism could follow release of mast locations.

Neither argument holds much weight. The problem with holes in coverage cuts both ways, while mobile masts are easy targets for determined vandals - after all, it's not as if they can run very fast. And releasing the data could help prove that masts don't have harmful effects.

The Information Commissioner pointed out that the location data still retain copyright and database rights. Now, that might preclude the first recipient from putting it online, since it would be obvious who had done it, and they might be prosecuted (depending on the terms of the release). But if a second organisation requested and received the data, and then a third, a samizdat copy of the data might well escape onto the web - with no indication of which recipient had naughtily released it.

Who would that help? An enterprising satellite navigation company could, for example, program it in so you would know where you might fall out of phone range (a potential boon to hillwalkers). The phone networks with better coverage should become obvious - which could prompt the less good ones to improve, or cut their prices.

Compared to the present obscured arrangement, it's hard to see how the proposed one would be worse. However, Ofcom has until October 9 to appeal over the ruling. Even so, we think that the ultimate test of whether the proposed move is good or bad is to ask: if the full data had always been available on a slick mashup, would it feel like an improvement or a retrograde step to stuff it back into Sitefinder?


Informant: Sandi from Mast Sickness UK

Fury over mast bid next to playgroup

GILLIAN SLOAN and Jon Wright, front, are leading the fight against the plan for the phone mast at the bowling club

THE club is next to a children's play group


ANGRY families have mounted a campaign against a plan to erect a 50ft mobile phone mast next to a playgroup HQ.

Telecommunications company T-Mobile has sent letters to homes in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, outlining its plan to disguise the mast as a flagpole on Meadow Rise estate.

It is at Bellshill and Mossend Bowling Club, which is next to the venue used by North Road Playgroup.

However, families have started a petition outlining concerns and objections to the proposal.

T-Mobile has still to submit a formal planning application to North Lanarkshire Council, but Jon Wright and Gillian Sloan, who stay near the proposed site, have rallied support from concerned neighbours.

Mr Wright, 37, a vehicle technician, said: "As a residential area, with a large population of families and young children, this is no place for a piece of potentially harmful industrial equipment.

"We don't know if Bellshill and Mossend Bowling Club officials have agreed to this plan, but with a playgroup adjacent to the proposed site and no one sure of the long term health risks, we will fight the proposal all the way.

"Apart from the health concerns, we are also worried about the visual impact of such an unsightly structure in the community and subsequent detriment to property prices.

"T-Mobile says the mast will look like a flagpole, but it is going to tower above everything else around it."

No one from the bowling club was available for comment, but a spokeswoman for T-Mobile defended the proposal and said the area would benefit from the mast.

She said: "The use of mobile phones in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with some 60million now in use.

"All communities have the potential to benefit from first class mobile communications, whether they are used for business, social or emergency purposes, but without a network of base stations mobiles do not work.

"We understand there can sometimes be concerns about locating base stations in communities, but T-Mobile's stations are operating within strict national and international guidelines recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

"We are confident our masts do not present a health risk to the public."

Omega see under:
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Wissenschaft+zu+Mobilfunk/
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Cancer+Cluster


15/09/06

Copyright © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Limited. All Rights Reserved

//www.eveningtimes.co.uk/print/news/5057157.shtml
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