Thursday, November 3, 2016

News: BT want to cut off Rotherham phone boxes

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BT are proposing to close 48 phone boxes throughout Rotherham, 12 of which haven't made a single call in the last year.

The company has around 46,000 working public payphone kiosks on the streets of the UK and BT say that six out of ten of their phone boxes are losing them money. This lead to a nationwide programme being launched to reduce the number of phone boxes.

48 are being earmarked for closure, right across the borough, from villages like Wentworth and Harthill to former mining communities like Kiveton Park and Maltby.

A list of the phone boxes proposed for closure can be found here.

When BT announces plans to remove a phone box, it is the local organisation's job to decide whether to use its local veto to object. To do this, they must first ask the views of the local community by carrying out a consultation process.

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Rotherham Council is organising and coordinating consultation responses for the wider community.

This consultation will close at 5pm on November 16 2016. Then the Council will consider all objections received and decide whether to consent or object to BT's proposal.

The Council's consultation said: "The Council will consider any comments received and decide whether to support or decline the proposal by BT to remove each phone box proposed for closure.

"If we receive no objections then we are likely to support the proposal for phone box removal. There will then be a further consultation on this before we make a final decision."

Since 2008, BT has been encouraging communities where their local phone box is not being used by people making phone calls, to preserve it by buying it, with the payphone removed, from the company for just a £1 under the Adopt a Kiosk scheme. This has enabled towns and villages across the land to preserve their own part of Britain's heritage.

Adopt a Kiosk has captured the imagination of people up and down the country and more than 3,500 kiosks have been adopted and transformed into a huge variety of new uses.

Many decommissioned phone boxes have been fitted with life-saving defibrillation machines, others have been turned into art galleries,mini libraries, exhibitions and information centres. One village turned theirs into a one-night-only pub, when their local closed down.

Consultation website

Images: BT


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