18
Jul
2005

George Young's letter

I now have permission from Sir George Young MP (Con) to publish this reply to my recent letter to him. He has also given permission for it to be used in any other way or context that will be helpful to the cause. Another MP now fully behind us!! (Unable to scan so this is an accurate, typed copy.) Cheers. Jenny


Dear Mrs Godschall Johnson,

Thank you for your email dated July 2nd concerning mobile phone masts and energy efficiency.

I am extremely concerned about telecommunications masts and the planning system. A greater number of masts have been constructed than was originally anticipated. These masts pose a far more serious threat to the environment now than when planning policy concerning telecommunications was first drafted to kick start the industry 20 years ago. The Government is not doing nearly enough to deal with genuine environmental and health concerns, despite the recommendation of caution from an independent panel of scientists, nor to allow local authorities to deal with the concerns of local people. Furthermore, the Government is not reacting quickly enough to the expansiveness and mast erecting fever of some of the mobile communications companies.

I believe that there is a fundamental need for a change to the way the planning system is configured to deal with the erection of new mobile phone masts. It is imperative that a greater say over the siting of masts is returned to local communities through democratically elected local government. Additionally, I am convinced that health concerns should be allowed to be considered where masts are to be put up near schools, hospitals or residential areas.

The points that you raise on energy efficiency are both interesting and important, and further add to the increasing evidence of environmental damage that is caused by mobile phone masts being erected. I will ensure that my colleague the Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, Caroline Spelman MP, is aware of the figures that you raise on the energy consumption of 3G masts. I feel sure that she will be raising these issues with the Government and challenging them on how they intend to take action.

Best wishes

Yours sincerely

Sir George Young MP
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