01/07/2021 - Permalink

Shropshire Council issues provisional view on BT Payphones proposed for removal

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council has issued a provisional view with regard to the 61 payphones that BT has proposed to remove from operational service in the council area.

BT has an obligation to consult with Shropshire Council about these. With the formal 90 day consultation underway, we are now at the end of the first stage, where we have to issue a provisional view and send it to the Government.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place, tourism and transport, said:

“The council is issuing what is very much an interim view at this stage, as we absolutely appreciate that parish councils and town councils have not all had chance to get back to us as yet. We are very grateful to those who have done so, and to the additional information people have been able to give about mobile phone coverage at the payphone locations. This is not least due to our concerns with regard to the continued need for payphones in isolated locations, and indeed for people who may not have mobile phones themselves.

“We were particularly pleased to get a response from a Whitchurch resident, making the point that many people do not have mobile phones or might have need to use a public callbox in an emergency. We would welcome other views from the public as well as from local Shropshire Councillors, local policing teams, town councils and parish councils. A full list of the payphones and commentary has been published on our website, and views are now invited to reach us by 4pm on Friday 30 July 2021.”

In this second stage, there is one month in which any further views are encouraged, taking us up to 4pm on 30 July. A final decision will then be issued by the deadline of 5 August 2021.

Town councils and parish councils were made aware that this consultation was starting after the Shropshire Council local elections so that as many people as possible could have their say, including newly-elected councillors. They are being sent a copy of the spreadsheet for their ease of access.

During the 90-day period, the job of the council as the Local Planning Authority is to seek views from local town councils and parish councils, and to include any views from local Shropshire 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.

Online resources, including the full listing, are available on the council website under   https://shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/bt-payphones/

We also include advice from the historic environment team about what can or cannot be done if the kiosk is a listed structure, and how to ask if there are queries about conservation considerations.

For feedback on your views, please contact the lead co-ordinating officer, Lois Dale, via email to ensure that we have a written record of these views. The address is; lois.dale@shropshire.gov.uk.