South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne is encouraging local residents to have their say in a public consultation on the future of 75 red telephone boxes across Shropshire.
BT have announced plans to remove permanently 75 payphones in the Shropshire Council area. BT has an obligation to consult with Shropshire Council with regard to proposed removals, so a formal 90-day consultation has begun.
Responses to the consultation will help Shropshire Council decide whether to consent to the removal of the service and kiosk; object in order to keep the service operation; or consent to removal of telephony, to allow the kiosk to be repurposed.
Across the county, the iconic red telephone boxes have been converted into housing for community defibrillators or even book exchanges.
Mr Dunne said: “We know that red telephone boxes with telephony are declining in use, but there will be some areas where it is appropriate for them to be retained – such as mobile phone notspots or in areas where accidents more frequently occur.
But even if the telephone service is no longer needed, this does not have to be the end of red boxes in Shropshire villages. Some have already been converted in innovative ways, from defibrillator stations to book exchanges.
Now is the time for local communities keen to keep this iconic symbol which has been such a landmark feature to make imaginative proposals if they want to keep a red box in our midst. So I encourage local residents to have their say in the consultation.”
The consultation document can be found online at https://shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/bt-payphones/. Views can be submitted to lead co-ordinating officer Lois Dale, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.