13
Jul
2005

Angry scenes at Tetra meeting

Date Published: Wednesday 13 July 2005

Helston Packet

An O2 spokesman was blasted during a public drop-in clinic called by the company to discuss a Tetra mast.

Mawnan resident Ann Brocklehurst interrupted Peter Sitch, from telecommunications company O2 Airware, during an interview with a television crew to declare: "Wait until you drop dead".

She also stood behind him, pointed at him and chanted the Lord's Prayer. She said: "He's so rude. He's causing so many health problems we don't even know about. I am very, very upset about it, that's why I'm here. But Sitch doesn't care. He's an obnoxious character."

Mr Sitch responded by saying: "It's not for me to comment about people's balance, is it?"

The meeting, at Constantine parish hall, was called by O2 Airwave in an attempt to allay the concerns of the public, with many fearing a perceived health risk from the police radio mast. Residents have also expressed doubts over its size and appearance in an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

Two police officers were also there to put forward their views and try to convey to people the benefits the mast would bring.

Chief Inspector Jon Wotton, from the west Cornwall management team, said: "We're not here for O2, we're here to say what the benefits of the system are. The community will benefit from having a new radio system."

He added that Constantine and Zennor were the only two areas in the British Isles not using the system.

He was jointed by Inspector Mark Bolt, from Helston police station, who said: "This is my community, I'm directly responsible for it.

"I've come to offer them support and explain to them the benefits of the system."

However, some residents were unhappy about the way the drop-in clinic was being conducted.

Carmel Hannon said: "I went in, stood in the middle of the room and looked around and I was totally ignored by a group of suited gentleman - so I came out again." Others even refused to go in to the meeting, preferring to show their concerns from outside.

Richard Smith, from Mawnan Smith, said: "Why should I go in there and give them ammunition for their appeal? "Frankly I just find this exercise impertinent - it's an insult to our intelligence. Why ask us to air our concerns when it's a fait accompli?"
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