Engeland: Actievoerders tegen zendmast brengen kerstdagen door in een caravan.

dinsdag, 12 januari 2010 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron: The Leicester Mercury 30 dec 2009

Leicestershire phone mast protesters celebrate Christmas in caravan

It may have been the Christmas holidays, but it was business as usual for campaigners in what is thought to be Leicestershire's longest-running live-in protest.

For the past 10 months, volunteers fighting to stop a phone mast being put up near their homes have taken it in turns to watch over the place where Vodafone wants to erect a 30ft 3G mast.

They have been taking it in turns to live in a caravan next to the site identified by Vodafone, on the corner of Grange Drive and Sapcote Drive, in Melton.

Campaigners fear the phone mast is too close to homes and will lead to health problems.

On Christmas Day, anti-phone mast stalwarts Lynne Hughes and Lyn Summerland enjoyed turkey with all the trimmings inside their protest HQ.

It meant leaving Christmas celebrations with their own families for a while – but the pair were buoyed by visitors who arrived over the holidays bearing gifts.

Lyn Summerland said: ''It was brilliant. It was like the way it was when we first started the protest.

''We were like a couple of saddos, sat there pulling crackers. It was the first time I've had my Christmas dinner in a caravan and I hope it's the last. It was different, but I would do it again if I had to.''

Among visitors to the caravan on Christmas Eve was Brian Stein, the chief executive of Samworth Brothers, with a box of sandwiches to sustain the protesters.

Mr Stein, who suffers from electrosensitivity and believes radiation from his mobile phone made him seriously ill, said: ''They've been going for 10 months and when I heard they were manning it over Christmas I thought I would pop along with a little bit of food. Phone masts are being taken down in some Continental countries and in France wi-fi is banned in public places.''

Another visitor on Christmas morning, with a bottle of wine, was Russ Hamer, who lives in Cotgrave, in Nottinghamshire.

He had been involved in an 18-month fight against plans for hundreds of homes on a greenfield site on the edge of the village.

He said: ''My wife, Penny, works in Melton and when I heard what they were doing I just wanted to offer my support to a group of people fighting the big guy.

''I decided to visit them on Christmas Day in keeping with the spirit of their protest at that time of year.''

County councillor for the area, Peter Roffey, who also visited on Christmas morning with a box of liqueur chocolates, said: ''I think what they are doing is outstanding. They deserve recognition for what they're doing.''

Lynne Hughes said: ''We were a bit short staffed with people down with colds and flu and the weather has been awful, but the visits and gifts lifted our spirits.

A Vodafone spokesman said they had looked at possible alternative sites for the mast, for which they have consent, but this was the only one available to improve 3G coverage for their customers in the area.

He said: ''We are working on a plan to develop the site which will ensure that all health and safety issues are managed during the build.''

www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/Leicestershire-phone-mast-protesters-celebrate-Christmas-caravan/article-1656042-detail/article.html .

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