In These New Times

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Hull mast protest

Posted by seumasach on July 7, 2011


6th July, 2011

Hull residents’ protest over phone mast enters 10th week

Campaigners, who have occupied the site of a proposed mobile phone mast in east Hull for 10 weeks, have said they are there for the “long-haul”.

Residents are running a 24-hour blockade on the site in Summergangs Road.

They say they are concerned about the health risks posed by the mast. Most work in two hour shifts and some camp out overnight.

Vodafone said it would operate within “stringent international guidelines”.

Planning permission for the 12.5m (41ft) structure was granted in January but the protest has meant that no building work has started.

‘Close to customers’

Protester Tony Bates said: “There’s been a lot of upset, a lot of anger amongst the residents we just do not want the mast placed here in our community.

“The experts, the scientists can’t agree amongst themselves whether the masts are dangerous whether there are health problems.”

In a recent report, the UK’s Health Protection Agency said: “There is no clear scientific evidence of a cancer risk from exposure to radio frequencies at levels below international guidelines but the possibility remains.”

The mast is a joint venture between Vodafone and 02. The companies said they are responding to customer demand.

Dr Rob Matthews from Vodafone said: “Our customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“Base stations are low powered which means they only cover approximately half a mile in radius and therefore must be located close to our customers.”

Protesters said they would continue with their campaign until the construction was abandoned.

The telephone companies said they were working on a plan to safely complete the building work.

Mr Bates said the protesters were prepared to continue their vigil for the “long-haul”.

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