Monday, 23 May 2011

Control phone masts better says Liverpool Lib Dem leader.

Liverpool needs to get much better at controlling telephone masts.

That's the view of Cllr Paula Keaveney, Leader of the Lib Dem Group on the City Council.

She's put in a motion, for tomorrow's  (24 May) Council meeting, to ask for the problem to be dealt with.

Says Paula: " When operators get planning permission for masts they can end up riding roughshod over local people.  I've seen conditions ignored and Liverpool City Council behave as if there is little it can do.  In reality if conditions are agreed they need to be enforced or they are meaningless"

Problems recently have included operators turning up without doing the promised envionmental checks and not painting masts the right colour.

Paula , who is also Councillor for Cressington ward, is asking the Cabinet member for regeneration to have a proper look at this and see what can be done to tighten things up.

She adds: "The Council often insists that phone masts are painted goose grey.  In the real world this often translates into 'standout white'.  Surely we can come to a better agreement whereby residents have more of a say about the colour that will work in their area"

The motion is submitted to the City Council meeting on 24th May. It will be considered by the next meeting of the Council's regeneration committee.

The text of the motion, also signed by Lib Dem Councillor Pat Moloney, is below:

"Council notes that the installation of telecommunications masts in residential areas is often highly controversial and that there is often much resident opposition based on, among other things, health fears and appearance.

Council notes that some installations, despite what operators have said, clearly spoil the appearance of areas and stand out from surrounding trees, plants etc.

Council accepts that for citizens to have access to mobile telecommunications coverage, some phone masts are essential.

Council however believes that conditions on masts operators needs to be tightened up to avoid causing problems for residents. It notes that there are cases in which operators have simply ignored conditions applied by the Council and the council has not been able to properly enforce its own agreements.

Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to –

·              institute a time limited review of current practice when it comes to setting conditions and carrying out enforcement.  This review should include the arrangements made for receiving and monitoring information from operators and the decisions which are made when agreeing conditions on issues such as colour and tree/shrub planting

·              survey a sample of residents affected by those phone masts installed or reinstalled in the last three months to ascertain views on what could or should have been done to make the outcome more agreeable to residents.

·              report back with a view to making any changes identified as necessary."

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