17
Jun
2005

Councillor joins Bourne mast protest

Farnham Today 17.06.05

SURREY county councillor David Munro has joined the fight to stop mobile telephone operator Orange erecting masts in Farnham. Mr Munro, the county councillor for south Farnham, has written to Orange stating his concerns about the possible erection of masts at the Bourne crossroads and at a site in Manor Gardens on the A287. He has pledged his support for residents’ groups campaigning against Orange and for Jeremy Hunt, MP for south west Surrey , who has urged Orange to reconsider the possible siting of a mast near The Bourne Infant School. Mr Munro said: “These proposals are appalling and must be resisted both on environmental and perceived health grounds. There is no justification for putting these masts in such a prominent position where they will blight the landscape and make many people, especially those with young children, genuinely fearful of the hazards to health. “ Orange must not prolong the deep worries that they are putting residents through and must withdraw the proposals straightway. I have written to the company urging them to listen to the protests of residents and our MP, Jeremy Hunt, and think again without delay,” he added. Niki Hearnshaw, campaign co-ordinator for the Bourne school mast action group, is anxious about the length of time Orange are taking to decide about the fate of the proposed mast at The Bourne Infant School. “We were given a promise by Orange in a meeting on May 31 that a decision would be made in two weeks. Since then I have been made aware of a public statement by Orange saying that it may take six to eight weeks,” she said. Residents campaigning against the possible erection of a 40-ft mast at the Manor Gardens site have fiercely criticised Orange . In a survey by the Manor Gardens mast action campaign group, the vast majority of local residents believe that this issue is “a public relations disaster for Orange that does them no credit”, while most residents “would actively avoid Orange and urge all their friends to do the same”. Joint campaign co-ordinator Ray Cuckow, said: “We publicly call on Orange to drop the environmentally damaging Manor Gardens proposal. This mast fails to meet Orange ’s published standards of corporate and social responsibility. It would be a very serious loss of amenity, not just for us but also for the whole community.” Orange has responded to the concerns by stating that the decision-making process about the siting of masts is still ongoing and every effort was being made to resolve this as quickly as possible.
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