Shropshire Star

Defibrillator plan for Shropshire phone boxes

Several phone boxes in Shropshire, many of which have not been used for more than a year, could be turned into defibrillator points under plans to remove up to 75 payphones.

Last updated

BT is currently in consultation with Shropshire Council over the boxes – of which 32 have not made or received a single call in the past 12 months.

The council opened a consultation into the future of the phone boxes earlier this year and have had a number of applications from town and parish councils to adopt them or turn them into storage points for lifesaving defibrillators.

Others still have use to the community and there will be a request to keep them, the council said.

It has not yet been revealed where the boxes are with representations made.

The boxes include six in the 01691 Oswestry area, which have had 17 calls made or received between them in the last year.

BT has an obligation to consult with Shropshire Council with regard to the proposed removals.

The formal 90-day consultation period, as set out by Ofcom, is now at the stage where the council is required to publish its interim comment in order to then allow for a 30-day period for any further views.

Lois Dale, Shropshire Council’s rurality and equalities specialist, said: “We have been heartened by the feedback we have received to date, not only from parish councils and town councils but also from the public and local Shropshire councillors.


“This has been enormously useful in assisting us to reach a provisional view for each of the 75 payphones, whether that is for adoption of the kiosk, where several areas wish to turn them into defibrillator storage points, removal of the payphone where it is no longer seen as necessary, or retention of the service, where it is seen as continuing to fulfil a social and community need.

“It was also really helpful to have BT confirm that, although there were originally 135 set for consultation with a view to removal, with notices placed in such kiosks, BT reduced this down to 75 in recognition that mobile phone coverage was not assured at these payphone locations at this time.

“The 75 kiosks are therefore the only ones under consideration in this exercise. If people have further views, or perhaps have not been in a position to make comment to date, we would be very grateful if they could look at the list with our interim comments, and come back to us by the final deadline of 4pm on December 16.”

There are additional online resources for parish councils and town councils who are considering adoption of their kiosks for usage such as defibrillator storage, whether these are on the 75-strong listing or not.

Where the council has not heard back from a local community, it has held to a default position of objecting to removal of the telephone in order to seek to ensure continuation of the service.

To add your view, email

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.