9
Jun
2005

LEGAL BID TO MOVE MAST

Tamworth Herald

LINDSEY SMITH

10:30 - 09 June 2005

Legal experts have been called in to investigate whether the mobile phone mast at St Edward's RC Primary School in Coleshill can be pulled down in light of concerns over safety.

Warwickshire LEA bosses have ordered the authority's solicitor to begin an urgent investigation into the deeds of the land on which the mast stands, which was sold to British Telecom by the council 11 years ago.

News of the action was announced on the day mast protestors delivered an informal health survey to the school which appears to show that 98 per cent of pupils are suffering from health problems including headaches, nausea, itchy eyes, tiredness or nosebleeds.

County education officer Eric Wood said: "We are concerned at the issues being raised, in particular legal aspects to do with the use of the land on which the mobile phone mast is situated.

"We are asking the county solicitor to investigate as a matter of urgency because the legal and health and safety concerns of the parents must be treated seriously and dealt with as promptly as possible."

The survey, carried out with parents of 200 children at the school, was not sanctioned by Warwickshire County Council, although it is believed no objections were raised to it being circulated to parents.

But the findings have been seen by headteacher, Gillian Owen, who issued a statement to the Herald saying she shares the concern of the parents and supports them in their campaign to have the mast removed.

"They are leading this effort allowing me to concentrate on the busy day-to-day task of running a successful school. "I look forward to hearing of the developments but am not taking an active part in the group that is looking at this serious issue," she said.

The survey was prepared by mast protestors Jackie Slater and Geraldine Canavan with advice from physicist Dr John Walker - who worked with action group SCRAM in their successful fight against the Wishaw mast.

Scientist Anne Silk, who learned of the survey results in a meeting on May 27, is now presenting the findings to a meeting of the World Health Organisation in Geneva on June 15, to call for a national effort to study the health of every child whose school is close to a phone mast.
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