Date set for public meeting on phonemasts

Jo Swinson MP has set the date for a public meeting in Bearsden to discuss the building of phonemasts.

The meeting will take place in Bearsden Public Hall on Wednesday, 7th September, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Members of the public will be able to ask questions to a panel composed of a radiation expert from the Health Protection Agency, spokesmen from two mobile phone networks and representatives of residents associations.

After receiving a large number of letters from concerned residents on the subject of phonemasts, Jo realised the strength of local feeling and decided that a public meeting should be held.

The issue became an exercise in online democracy when Jo used a website,, to set up the meeting. The site encourages users to make a pledge to act, as long as others do the same. In this case, Jo pledged to hold a public meeting on phonemasts as long as 20 people agreed to attend.

Jo said “I was really impressed at the speed at which people signed up for the meeting on the pledgebank website. The Internet has real potential to encourage democracy and to get people together in this way.”

“It was clear from residents’ reactions to proposed masts that a public meeting would be popular. It is necessary to allow people to be part of a fair debate over an issue that is directly affecting them.”

“It is a genuinely complicated issue. Many people have concerns about phonemasts being sited near their home, school or local park, but equally many residents in East Dunbartonshire want to enjoy the benefits of mobile phone technology. I hope this meeting will be a positive step forward to bridge the gap between residents and phone operators.”

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