Public objected to removal of phone boxes in Marston Vale
During the first phase of a community consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council received 209 representations about BT’s proposals to remove 30 public pay-phones .
The second phase of the consultation, which runs until Tuesday 21 January 2020, will enable residents to comment on whether they agree or object to the first decision.
Based on feedback from the local community and other public organisations such as town and parish councils and evidence provided, the first decision proposes objecting to 27 pay-phones being removed, including phone boxes in Cranfield, Ridgmont and Lidlington.
The Council said that the number of responses for each payphone was relatively small. But there is general support for retaining the boxes in villages, either as phone boxes or adopting them for community use.
|Address||No. of calls in last 12 months||Agree||Object||Adopt||
Telephone: 01234 750201
JNCT with Orchard Way
|0||0||5||1||Object||Public consultation indicates an objection to payphone removal|
Telephone: 01525 280260
O/S Ate High St
|3||0||6||2||Object||Public consultation indicates an objection to payphone removal|
Telephone: 01525 404065
|0||2||7||1||Object||Public consultation indicates an objection to payphone removal|
Objections included “impact on the elderly and disabled”
Some of objections were about the lack of mobile signal in the villages, and the need for pay-phones in the case of network outages. Some communities lodged objections arguing that removing the pay-phones will have more of an impact on the elderly and disabled.
Cllr Richard Wenham, deputy leader and executive member for Corporate Resources, said:
“We listened and reviewed all of the comments provided to us by those who responded to the first phase of the consultation including the public and town and parish councils.
“We also looked at number of other factors before making a first decision including usage of the payphones in the last year and housing deprivation around where they are located.
“However, we want to make sure that none of our vital public pay-phones are removed and the community have the opportunity to buy and adopt their local phone box, so I am encouraging everyone to review our first decision around the phone boxes.
“Those living in the areas of proposed closures are in the best position to know the impact the removal of a payphone would have on them and their community.”
After the second consultation a final view will be submitted to the Council’s Executive in February, who will be asked to consider and agree a response to BT.
A final decision notice will then be published on the council’s website which will outline the position on the proposed removals.
If BT disagrees with any of the objections made by the council, it will ask to formally review those objections with the local authority, and Ofcom will consider the decision on the proposed closure.
You’ll find more information, including a list of the public pay-phones proposed to be removed at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.