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18 February 2017

United Kingdom: Meir Residents Win 17-Year Fight to Remove Phone Mast Blamed for Cancer Deaths

Widow Christine Cornes lined her loft and headboard
with 50 rolls of tin foil.  "We've used the same mesh
that they used in the Iraq war," she said.
VIDEO: Meir residents win 17-year fight to remove phone mast blamed for cancer deaths
by Becky_Lotonstokesentinel.co.uk
16 February 2017

This towering 82ft high mobile phone mast has finally been removed - after a 17-year battle by residents.

Shooters Hill Association – a group of neighbours in Meir – has spent thousands of pounds, sent hundreds of letters, visited Westminster and staged peaceful protests to try to get the eyesore dismantled.

The Orange mast was erected in 1993 and the association was set up in 2000 when residents found out the tower had been erected without proper consultation.

Families have always suspected there could be a link between cancer deaths in the area and the phone mast – which could be seen from as far as a mile away.


It has emerged power to the mast was removed two years ago - and the tower has now been dismantled.

Case study: Phone mast victory: 'I lined my loft and headboard with 50 rolls of tin foil to stop radiation'

The association had three aims - register Shooters Hill as a village green, remove a concrete compound which was blocking a footpath, and dismantle the 'unsightly and intrusive' mast.

Association spokeswoman Jean Hopkins, from Cherrywood Grove, Meir, said: "The mast was put up without any notification or consultation to the public. Residents didn't know anything about it until it appeared.

"It has been a very long, difficult and frustrating task which has even seen us go to the House of Commons. But despite the obstacles we have had to overcome, the three aims have now been achieved. We have never given up. On one occasion we all stood outside the reservoir and the police were sent to remove us.

"I was told that the mast would come down in September last year, then that it would be just after Christmas. It means a lot to the association to see all our hard work has paid off."

Case study: VIDEO: 'Why I believe Shooters Hill phone mast killed my wife'

The land was registered as a village green in 2002, and the public footpath was registered in 2012.

Association treasurer Peter Chell claims there were also at least five cases of people with brain tumours which could be linked to the phone mast.

Dozens of residents have lined their homes with tin foil or expensive metal mesh, as well as installing special curtains, to prevent any rays coming into their homes.

Raymond Finney, aged 84, from Kingsmead Road, said: "We believe that up to 400 metres away was the danger area. Jean supplied us with the mesh for protect our homes."

Ken Warburton, aged 74, from Lightwood Road, added: "This mast actually destroyed lives. We have gone to a lot of trouble to stop anything going into our houses. It looked like a monster."

Experts are still divided over whether there is a link between cancers and phone masts.

Mast Sanity campaign group spokesman Sarah Wright said: "The radiation emitted by mobile phones and mobile phone masts was classified as a possible carcinogen in 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Some scientists on the committee wanted it to be classified as a definite carcinogen, it's just everyone is ignoring it because they like phones. No-one understands and no-one wants to know. But these effects are real and it does need to come out."

But Public Health England expert Dr Simon Mann says there is no 'convincing' scientific evidence linking phone masts and cancer.

He said: "International guidelines are in place to limit public exposure to radio signals from mobile phone base stations. These guidelines are fully adopted by the UK Government and used by the UK's mobile phone network operators.

"There is no convincing scientific evidence that radio signals from mobile phone masts pose a risk to public health when they are below internationally-agreed guidelines."

Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello has worked with the campaigners since being elected to Parliament in 2005.

He said: "I am delighted the mast has finally been taken down and that the common and public footpath can now be returned to community use. I became involved with the campaign to remove the mast when I was first elected in 2005 and have been on the case ever since. I am pleased EE has stuck to its word and done the decent thing."

Mobile phone giant EE has confirmed the Shooters Hill mast is no longer required.

An EE spokesman added: "We're pleased to confirm that we're removing the decommissioned mast in Sandon Road. Our continued network investment has improved our local network infrastructure to the point we can fully remove the Sandon Road site. Other sites in the area are already handling calls and data for the community."

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/video-meir-residents-win-17-year-fight-to-remove-phone-mast-blamed-for-cancer-deaths/story-30139176-detail/story.html

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