Scaremongering jibe at campaigners

CAMPAIGNERS fighting moves to put up mobile phone masts in Felixstowe have been accused of "gesture politics" and scaremongering.Householders are extremely worried about the possible health effects from the communications aerials, especially those proposed for sites near family homes.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting moves to put up mobile phone masts in Felixstowe have been accused of "gesture politics" and scaremongering.

Householders are extremely worried about the possible health effects from the communications aerials, especially those proposed for sites near family homes.

Liberal Democrat councillors Dot Paddick and Harry Dangerfield have been spearheading a campaign to help residents fight the masts, and calling for Suffolk Coastal to take a pro-active stance in deciding where masts can be put.

Mrs Paddick has written to deputy prime minister John Prescott to insist that masts are not sited in housing areas.

But Conservative David Smith, deputy chairman of Felixstowe Town Council's general purposes committee, said councillors had a duty to reassure the public and keep them informed of the facts about the masts, not frighten them.

The Stewart report had said the health risks from mobile phones had not been proven and that microwave emissions were extremely small.

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"What we are seeing is gesture politics from the Liberal Democrats and they should not be out there scaremongering," said Mr Smith.

"They ought to be telling people the facts, not having their photograph taken smashing up defunct mobile phones."

But Mrs Paddick told the committee that people's fears were "very real" and there are worries that health problems are being stored up for the future.

Scientists in Sweden have recently found the first real link between regular use of digital mobile phones and brain tumours – a 30 per cent increased risk of a tumour among regular users.

"The Stewart report recommended further research and that is what we want to see – the report was based on the old mobile phones, not the third generation ones which are now coming into use," said Mrs Paddick.

"We cannot put our residents' minds at ease until studies have been done into the 3G phones and their masts and that could be some time yet."

n What do you think – should putting mobile phone masts in housing areas be stopped until the evidence of health risks is clearer? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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