Parents threaten to boycott Queen’s Park school in phone mast row

Father airs concerns over health risk

Mobile phone operators have refused to take down two masts from a school despite parents threatening to pull their children out of classes, it has been claimed.

Following pressure from parents and teachers Chris Hulme, headteacher of Queens Park Community School (QPSC) in Aylestone Avenue, Kilburn, wrote to T-Mobile and Orange, who have merged, last October asking them to remove the masts.

Concerned parent Axel McFarlane contacted the school in March.

He was told in a letter from the headteacher that the phone operators did not “accept the need to end the contract” and that removal “was almost impossible” without an expensive legal battle.

Under the Telecommunications Act, mobile operators have powers to retain phone masts even if a contract has ended, with property owners often needing a court order to have them taken down.

Mr McFarlane, 45, of Greenhill Road, Harlesden, has two sons at QPCS –Noah, 13, and Finlay 12 – and said: “My kids are in school 280 days a year with some top-floor classes taking place just metres from the mast.

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“The research that comes from outside the mobile phone industry seems to point towards a risk of serious damage from masts and I am considering taking my children out of school.”

Mr McFarlane has written to MP Sarah Teather who raised the issue with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and has written to the chief executives of the companies.

School bosses appear to have done a U-turn as documents on their website shows they are “negotiating a renewal” with the operators.

A spokesman from Everything Everywhere, The parent company of both companies, told the Times they are negotiating with the school.

He said: “The science has not found adverse health effects caused by masts operating within international health and safety guidelines.”

QPCS was unavailable for comment.