56 public payphones could be scrapped in Shropshire
More than 50 payphones including red telephone boxes are under threat of disappearing from Shropshire's streets under BT plans.
Shropshire Council has received a listing from the phone company of 56 payphones across the county that it proposes to permanently remove from service.
Most were originally suggested as part of a larger scale consultation last autumn although there are 10 new ones in Bridgnorth, Craven Arms, Ellesmere, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Church Stretton and Shrewsbury.
A formal 90-day consultation has begun with the Council, as set out by Ofcom, which concludes on November 11.
The council is urging members of the public to contact it with their views by 4pm on September 29 September, after which a provisional view has to be issued and sent to the Government referencing the comments and views received.
Councillor Gwilym Butler said: "During the 90-day period, the job of the council as the local planning authority is to seek views from local town and parish councils and to include any views from local councillors, residents, and so forth, in order to help us to reach a decision in each case as to whether to consent to removal of the service and kiosk; object in order to keep the service operational, or consent to removal of the telephony and retention of the kiosk itself where the local parish or town council wish to adopt.
“Many of these BT kiosks were on the large-scale consultation in autumn 2019 and have reappeared on this list. Whilst this consultation presents a real opportunity for local communities to think about the usage of their payphones, we absolutely appreciate that local communities are focussed at this time upon seeking to deal with the pandemic and its consequences across our area.
“Officers have therefore drawn up a listing that includes all the comments made last time around, in order to assist in saving everyone some time, and in so doing helping us to reach a collective up-to-date decision on behalf of the local communities in each case.
He said Shrewsbury Council's policy was to object to the loss of kiosks from a predominantly rural county unless local feedback suggested otherwise.
“People to have a think about whether they consider that the kiosks on the list need to remain operational to serve residents and visitors, perhaps because they are in an isolated rural area or an area with poor mobile coverage, or whether the local community may perhaps find benefit from their removal or from adopting them for a community use such as defibrillator storage. “
More details are available at shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/bt-payphones.
Views should be sent on email to Lois Dale at email@example.com.
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