9
Jun
2005

COUNCIL WON'T BUY MASTS KIT

Exeter Express and Echo

BY BEN NORMAN

12:00 - 09 June 2005

Mobile phone mast emission metering equipment is to be struck off Exeter City Council's shopping list. The council's executive decided two years ago to set aside £25,000 to spend on hi-tech mast monitoring gear.

The decision to buy the equipment was made amid widespread public unease at the health impact of masts.

Public concern about the issue has been highlighted by the Echo's Shockwaves campaign, which is calling on the Government to fund more research into mast emissions.

But now the council's environmental health officials say they do not believe there is any real benefit to be gained from monitoring masts.

A report to the council's community scrutiny committee said the equipment would be used to monitor emissions that are established to be well within the safety limits.

At the meeting, Jayne Donovan, the council's head of environmental health services, said: "It is clear that if the council measured mast emissions the results would be very similar to levels monitored nationally.

"The emissions we would get would be likely to be below international guidelines.

"In my opinion, there would be very limited uses of the information and the results would not be able to provide any meaningful health protection tool.

"However, we will continue to keep abreast of research and other developments in the field."

The committee voted to recommend that the council's executive should support the move not to buy the monitoring equipment.

Conservative city councillor Norman Shiel, the deputy chairman of the committee, said: "I support this recommendation. It would be gesture politics to spend taxpayers' money on this monitoring equipment."
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