Another all day surgery at Wood Green library. The library staff are pleased that I am operating an appointments system as it is orderly and well-managed. I am giving everyone 15 or 20 minutes – depending on the issue as discussed on the phone previously. Open surgeries are great – but in the end people could wait all day and still not get seen or have their time squashed. We will see how it goes.
My sister is helping me at present as it is not wise to be on your own for surgery and she’s also taking notes – just fantastic! And we a good natter over lunch.
I then rush from surgery to Muswell Hill to chair a meeting between parents near Tetherdown School and Vodafone, who are about to turn on their mobile phone mast.
It is a pretty depressing meeting because the last hope is really that Vodafone would have supplied the mapping the parents had requested at the last meeting – which would show the beam of greatest intensity and where it fell – and whether it was within the education authority’s guidelines. They haven’t done this.
It is clear as the meeting progresses that Vodafone are going to turn on the mast regardless and have come to the meeting simply because they promised they would at the last meeting – not with any real intention of changing their position.
They agree, under excellent and expert pressure from the parents, to supply the mapping information (although now after the event) and refuse point blank to wait for another week whilst the parents receive and analyse the mapping. They do agree to take readings and measurements before and after switching it on.
So – an unhappy end thus far. The parents will continue to campaign and I will support them. I think there really is a lack of willingness on behalf of mobile phone companies to avoid vulnerable residents and children voluntarily – and I will be pursuing in Parliament legislation to give local authorities the power to refuse such applications on the ‘precautionary principle’ where sited near vulnerable residents.