Last Shropshire Disability Network shared with you information regarding BT’s proposal to remove 75 payphones in the county, giving you an opportunity to share your views by taking part in a consultation. (https://shropshire-disability.net/bt-payphones-proposal-to-remove-75-in-the-county/)
SDN brings you an update via Shropshire Council as follows:
“Shropshire Council is pleased to advise that confirmation has been received from BT with regard to next steps for the 75 payphones in the Shropshire area that BT proposed to permanently remove from service.
There were 49 across the county for which Shropshire Council objected to removal of the operational telephony, following the feedback received from local communities and town and parish councils. BT advises that there are no plans to appeal against any of the objections, which means that these 49 will remain in service.
This follows on from Shropshire Council issuing its final view and Final Notice after a formal 90-day consultation period on all 75, as set out by Ofcom, which concluded just before Christmas 2019. BT had an obligation to consult with Shropshire Council with regard to the proposed removals.
The number for which the council’s final view was to consent to removal of the service and the kiosk stood at 14, with a further 12 where the local community wishes to adopt the kiosk. Contact details of the parish councils and town councils who indicated that they wanted to adopt their kiosks have been sent to BT, in order for these applications to then progress.
During the new formal 90-day consultation period, the task of the council as the Local Planning Authority will once again be to seek views from local town councils and parish councils, and to include any views from local councillors, residents, policing teams, and so forth, in order to help in reaching 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 council or town council wish to adopt.
The council’s starting position, as a predominantly rural county with a scattered population and concerns over mobile phone coverage for residents and for visitors, remains to Object to removal of telephony at kiosks unless local feedback suggests otherwise. This is due to concerns over things like emergency access; rural isolation; location in or near social housing or housing for older people, churches, doctors, schools, etc; and physical access where the next nearest payphone may be some distance away for those with mobility problems. The council also looks at continuing usage, even where this may appear low when compared with kiosk usage in a more densely populated urban area.
All the kiosks on this later list are modern style enclosed KX100s, rather than the older red K6 kiosks. This does not preclude their being adopted by the parish council or town council, but we are advised that such permission would only ordinarily be granted for the purposes for defibrillator storage. We are asking the town councils and parish councils involved to once again consider all factors at their disposal, including whether there are any other payphones remaining for resident and visitor access.
The consultation period commenced from the date agreed with BT, which was 6 February 2020, and concludes on 5 May 2020. We are required to ensure a minimum of 42 days for this first phase of the consultation period. Views on the proposals should be sent via email to Lois Dale, rurality and equalities specialist, email firstname.lastname@example.org, by 4pm on Friday 27 March 2020.
As with the larger scale consultation, the initial views, known as the First Notification, will be published by the council and copied to the relevant Government department in line with the formal direction from Ofcom, as well as being sent to BT. A minimum one month consultation period, for any further comments on the draft view, will then take us up to 4pm on Friday 1 May 2020. The final deadline is Tuesday 5 May 2020.
The listing is available at https://shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/bt-payphones/
For further information, click this link: https://newsroom.shropshire.gov.uk/2020/02/payphones-removal/