Kent County Council to ban mobile masts

County council claims it is merely following the precautionary approach recommended in Stewart Report

Kent County Council is expected to issue a ban Monday on the erection of mobile phone masts.

According to a press release, the council will discuss several moves "aimed to protect Kent residents from the possible effects of mobile phone radiation". This is expected to include a policy of refusing any application from a mobile phone company to "erect a mast on land or property owned or occupied by the council".

The ban will not extent to local schools, where school governors are responsible for granting permission for mast installation. However, Kent county council is expected to urge governors to follow its lead, and to restrict the use of mobiles by pupils.

The council claims to be taking the action in response to the Stewart Report of May 2000, which recommended a precautionary approach.

Deputy council leader Keith Ferrin said that the independent report had added to the concerns of local citizens. "There are very real fears in Kent about the safely of mobile phone masts, backed up by the precautionary recommendations of the Stewart Report," he explained.

Council leader Sandy Bruce-Lockhart insisted that the government should be doing more. "The Government should hurry up. We expected swift action after publication of the report but nothing has happened. Ministers have been unfeasibly slow," he said Wednesday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The council will also consider a policy of pressing the government to speed up its response to the Stewart Report.

Rupert Goodwins is getting in a froth about the the very doyen of middle-class sensibilities, Radio 4's You and Yours programme transmitting a piece about radio and health. He asks "What is the risk?" We live in a country where you can buy cigarettes over the counter and drink yourself to a coma every night. He maintains the only danger you're in from your mobile phone comes from colonic rupture if it rings once too often, too loudly in a place filled with choleric Chelsea fans. Go to AnchorDesk for the news comment.

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