«Latest  ‹Forward   News item: 7315  Back›  Oldest» 

Outrage over 15m phone mast in Butleigh playing field next to children's nursery
United Kingdom Created: 20 Apr 2017
The Parish Council complained of apathy over the fact parishioners had not come forward sooner - But one parish councillor, Wayne Moore-Read, said his peers should reconsider.

Mr Moore-Read said: "It doesn't matter why they've asked us to change our views - 210 people have signed a petition requesting that the location of the mast is changed. In an ideal world, they would have been here sooner, but they're here now and want to communicate."

Despite this, some of Mr Moore-Read's fellow councillors remained unchanged.

Alan Carr, who heads up the Parish Council, said: "We work for the whole village, as we always have done. I think it's the right thing to do and after what I've heard tonight, it makes me even more sure."

Residents left with mixed emotions, but some were frustrated.

"A large number of villagers feel the Parish Council has openly ignored their concerns and the benefits offered by the alternative location," said Butleigh resident Andrew Petherick.

"To do this in the very meeting created to listen to what they had to say was discourteous and patronising. By showing it was listening to dissenters, the Parish Council would have galvanised the community, both young and old, together in one room. It missed this golden opportunity."

The arguments

Parishioners were then invited to share their views in strict three-minute time slots.

Those in favour mentioned fears over poor outdoor signal which could prevent them from making emergency calls when outside and tried to allay concerns over potential health risks by outlining the different tiers of radiation the public are exposed to every day. Levels of radiation emitted by a mast were placed towards the lower end of the spectrum.

Those against the mast's location including a representative of the nursery and primary school - spoke of the effect the 'perceived risks' would have on nursery and school numbers and the footfall at the post office - the only shop in the village.

"The perceived risks to people's health are huge," said one resident. "Nursery staff don't want to work close to the mast. New families, which are the very lifeblood of the village, will be put off moving here. Numbers at the school are already dwindling if the school closes, it jeopardises the whole future of the village. I don't understand why the Parish Council would want to risk this, especially as alternative sites have been offered."

A young father, who said he was new to the village, questioned the relevance of the mast in a modern world where apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Face Time, all of which rely on WiFi not mobile signal, are becoming the preferred means of communication.

The contract for the mast is due to be issued this week and is scheduled for signing in a meeting on April 25.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Somerset Live, Claire Herbaux, 19 Apr 2017

«Latest  ‹Forward   News item: 7315  Back›  Oldest»