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Flitwick
Sunday, 16 May 2021

Central Bedfordshire Council objects to removal of 28 BT payphones

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Central Bedfordshire Council objects to removal of 28 BT payphones

Following the latest BT payphone consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council received 95 responses regarding BT’s proposals to remove 29 public payphones. BT had identified these payphones as unnecessary.

The payphones listed in Flitwick were:

  • Althorp Close
  • Denel Close/Ampthill Road
  • Russel Centre

As part of the process the Council was required to undertake a public consultation and to inform BT of the results. The consultation ended on 6 November. It enabled residents to comment on whether they agreed or objected to the proposals.

The consultation included information regarding BT’s ‘adopt a phone box’ scheme, so that communities could also consider an alternative use for the phone box or kiosk.

The responses received revealed support for the Council’s decision to object to the removal of all 29 payphones. There were also comments expressing overall concern about the removal of a public service and the state of repair of some phones.

Based on the responses received, the Council’s Executive was asked to consider and agree a response to BT. It agreed to object to the removal of 28 payphones. It also confirmed support for the adoption of a payphone at Aspley Guise by the Parish Council.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, executive member for Community Services, said:

“We have listened and reviewed all of the comments provided to us during the consultation by the public and town and parish councils. We have also been looking at a number of other factors including usage of the payphones and housing deprivation around where they are located.

“The number of responses for each payphone was relatively small, however there is general support for retaining the boxes in our towns and villages – either as phone boxes or adopting them for community use.

“The payphones might not get used as much as they used to, but it’s useful to have them for emergencies, especially for older residents who might not have a mobile phone or for those who find themselves with no signal.

“We will be informing BT of our objections to their proposal to remove these payphones, along with our support of Aspley Parish Council with the adoption of one in their area.”

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 the full list of the public payphones proposed to be removed on the Council’s website.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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