THE DEPUTY Mayor is challenging mobile operators to be more open when applying to install phone masts.

Adrian Jones, a Seacombe Labour councillor, has written to phone giant O2 querying their methods of public consultation.

He notes that the firm wrote to him - as a local councillor - on December 17 to inform him of their application to site a mast in Poulton Road, Wallasey.

That solitary letter is the minimum "notice" that is required for a community.

There are just 14 days from then to raise any objections, which as Cllr Jones pointed out is difficult over the Christmas holiday period.

"When in the public perception there is inadequate consultation, that often leads to considerable resentment and massive protests and adverse media publicity," he wrote.

"I suggest you leaflet every household within 500 metres of the proposed installation to see local views.

"Alternatively you should arrange a public meeting at which interested bodies can participate for presentations, questions and answers provided that you leaflet them at least a week in advance."

Cllr Jones told the Globe: "When these phone companies send a letter to a councillor they hope that they will get it slipped through at Planning Committee if the councillor fails to reply, usually within 14 days of the date on the letter.

"That is utterly ridiculous. How can any councillor meaningfully consult a whole area and respond with 14 (or at Christmas 21) days of the date on a letter received?"