We need all mast factions to come together

Chris Maile has asked me to put this message on to the mast email network. Sian

In recent months I have been approached by two organisations that it appears are either in the process of, or have set up new National Mast organisations, there also seems to be circulating some confusion over my position and help and advise to these groups, I therefore set out below my position, I hope in a clear and concise manner so that there is no confusion.

Planning Sanity is independent of all mast groups. I neither work for or am a member of any organisation other than Planning Sanity, albeit that I was a co-founder with Lisa Watts in the setting up of Mast Sanity, indeed it started life as a branch of Planning Sanity, and I was its first chair. I fully support its principles and its general thrust which as far as I am aware is still based on the criteria set in place by myself and Lisa. On stepping down as chair just after the 2002 Trafalgar Square Rally I have taken no further part in the running of Mast Sanity, but have acted as an advisor and supporter. Indeed in my view it is the only credible national organisation and the only mast group that I support as a national organisation.

However, my private expressed view is that we need all mast factions to come together, I do not see that happening, but if it could be achieved by no other means then I favour the type of group that we tried to set up after Trafalgar in that there should be a national steering group of all organisations, independent of each other, but coming together every quarter to share ideas and to take part in joint campaigns. I only support this notion as I do not realistically see those other groups doing what they should and join forces with Mast Sanity. I though would not become a member of that group nor would Planning Sanity as it is a planning campaign and NOT a mast campaign. I wish to make it very clear I have not, or if it appears I have then that is a mis-understanding offered to join or become part of any new national group other than in the two contexts set out below.

One group rightly wants to see a nationally organised campaign to see applications for compensation under Code 16 payable by the operators, this potentially could cost the operators £millions if we can get it off the ground, and again potentially see dozens of sensitive installations removed.

I have written a briefing for this campaign and intend to take a full and active role in promoting it. Any other aspect or extention of that which might be planned by other members that are or might be involved in excess of that aspect of the campaign does not at this stage have my support, indeed I do not actually know whether any extention of that aspect of the campaign is or has been planned.

The other campaign is that relating to children and schools, whilst I am not a member or indeed have not stated that I actually support the campaign in the context suggested to me, I fully support the principle of highlighting the worst aspects of telecoms developments, particularly those that affect schools and hospitals. It would be totally against all I stand for if I refused to help and assist any campaign that is attempting to reduce the adverse effect upon the worst affected sections of society. I have therefore offered my technical help and support, primarily for the reason that if I failed to offer that support then any changes in legislation might be inferior to that which I have helped draft and offered advise on. As I say above I do not support that groups intention of setting up a rival national organisation to Mast Sanity, to my mind that is a question of dividing our forces and efforts, but as it is going to happen anyway I want to ensure that they have the best advise in the context of reducing the effect on schools and hospitals.

There are some sections of the movement that I consider are unethical in the way they have acted in the past and therefore I have withdrawn my support, and indeed any help and assistance that I would normally offer them, I will not name them but most of those that know me know who they are and why I would not support them. My general policy is that I offer all those that seek my help appropriate advise, I do not restrict that help, nor do I ask who the person is and what groups they belong to, that is irrelevant to whether they are successful in their endeavours, andtherefore benefit others, and I will continue in that way. If though I consider that any person or group is acting inappropriately then I reserve the right to withdraw any help and support that I offer them.

I will though reiterate before closing that I will always above all other groups acknowledge Mast Sanity as the only national organisation. I do not believe that as it is at the moment any other group can fulfil that role, and I would urge the whole movement to unite under the single banner of Mast Sanity. Yes continue your own local and regional campaigns, but there is strength in numbers, make it a single national campign movement and it will be that much harder for the operators and the government to break, as well as easier to attract media attention. Mast Sanity has now been going for nearly 5 years, it has taken this long to evolve into a strong network of resources, any new group has to again start from scratch, will you be where Mast Sanity is today in 5 years time, trade on the experiences and name built up over this period, do your own thing within Mast Sanity, but be truely national, in a single campaign.

I would also state that all the documentation on the Planning Sanity WEB site is as the copyright notices state available for use by all individuals and groups within their campaigns but acknowledgement of Planning Sanity should be given. Please circulate this message far and wide to stop the rumours and mis-understandings as to my position on the various planned campaigns. And I apologise if anyone has been mislead by anything that I might have indicated to the contrary.

Chris Maile

Campaign for Planning Sanity http://www.planningsanity.co.uk Helpline 0871 750 3992 - 12noon to 7pm (calls cost 10p per minute)


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Mai 2005

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