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Mobile Telephone Masts

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 10 July 2003, Official Report, column 998W, on mobile telephone masts, what action he plans to ensure greater adherence by network operators to the code of best practice on mobile phone network development. [126556]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 10 July 2003, Official Report, column 998W. The Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Developments, which was produced jointly by representatives of central and. local government and the mobile phone industry, built on Government guidance and the operators' Ten Commitments. The Code has only been in operation since last November.

On Tuesday 15 July 2003 Deloitte and Touche published their report of the Implementation Review of the Ten Commitments to Best Siting Practice for the UK Mobile Industry. A copy of the report is available in the Library of the House. The opinion of Deloitte & Touche is the evidence they have seen of the operators' processes and procedures during the review fairly reflects the operators' assertion that they have made demonstrable progress in implementing the Ten Commitments. However, given the relatively new nature of some of the Commitments at the time of the review some of the processes were not fully operational and there were some areas where implementation was not comprehensive or thorough. Deloitte and Touche made 46 recommendations for improving procedures and all the mobile network operators have accepted all the recommendations.

The operators are committed to commissioning another review in a year's time and I will be asking them to extend the scope of that review to include observance of the Code. This will enable us to assess how effectively the Code has been put into operation since its introduction and whether any changes need to be made.