Residents in Formby have told me how worried they are about a proposed mobile phone mast. A planning application is due to be considered by the council’s planning committee and a similar application in Blundellsands was turned down recently after residents objected to the plans.
Some of the concerns are about the impact on health and I have seen evidence about the potential impact of electromagnetic radiation on health and especially on the health of children. Radiation from mobile phones causes a heating effect and holding a phone close to your head means that the brain could be warmed by the radiation from your phone. Given that most people use their mobile phone by putting the phone to their ear, rather than by using headphones, this should be of interest to most of us.
I use a phone and usually use it by putting the phone to my ear, so I do wonder whether I am causing myself a potential problem. The evidence which I have seen suggests this is a particular problem for children because their brains are more vulnerable than adults because of the higher water content in children's brains.
The evidence was given to me by Eileen O’Connor, who lives in Formby and she has campaigned on this issue for many years. Eileen and her colleagues presented a petition to Number 10 Downing Street a few months ago about the dangers of smart meters, which also produce electromagnetic radiation.
By the way, the manufacturers of mobile phones put a warning in the box when you buy a new phone. The warning advises you not to put your phone close to your head or to keep your phone in your trouser pocket (especially for men). You have to wonder what the manufacturers know that we don’t. Maybe we should all take note of the research that shows a possible health risk.
My family really enjoyed seeing the giants in Liverpool and it was great to see the city gaining such positive national and international media coverage. The investment in the giants was not cheap but it brought many thousands of visitors flocking to our area. That brings much needed cash for our beleaguered businesses at this tough time.
When I am in London representing our area, I talk to people about Sefton and they know us for the Grand National, which gives us publicity. They also know about the Gormley Statues on Crosby Beach. There were some people who thought the statues were a mistake but time has shown that they are a popular visitor attraction and have been a great way of putting Crosby on the map. The National Trust does a great job at The Pinewoods in Formby and we are well known for our red squirrels. With plans by volunteers and by Maghull Town Council to make the most of Frank Hornby’s links with Maghull, each part of my constituency is fighting hard for recognition and to develop themselves against a backdrop of very tough economic times. My son is doing his bit for Maghull as he had Meccano for his birthday in support of Frank Hornby.
Well done to the organisers of Campaign Alliance for the Protection of the Environment, which has just started in Sefton Central. The fight to protect our green spaces will be a tough fight as there are developer who are queuing up to build both inside our towns and villages and out in the countryside. New planning rules mean there is now a presumption in favour of development and the big developers will have an advantage as there is legal uncertainty over what the new rules mean so those with the deepest pockets will be able to afford to go to court to gain planning consent. I will be supporting the campaign and am happy to work with anyone across Sefton who wants to be involved in protecting our environment, our communities and the people who live here.