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Saturday, June 12, 2021

BT propose to remove 61 payphones in Shropshire

BT is proposing to remove of 61 payphones from service in the Shropshire area, a formal consultation has begun on the plans.

A formal 90-day consultation has begun with Shropshire Council, as set out by Ofcom, the consultation concludes on Thursday 5 August 2021.

The consultation is set out in two stages with the first stage lasting for a minimum of 42 days, after which a provisional view from the council as Local Planning Authority, has to be issued and sent to Government. This will draw upon comments and views received at that stage, from local town councils and parish councils, Shropshire Councillors elected in the current local elections, local policing teams, and the public.

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Lois Dale, Shropshire Council’s rurality and equalities specialist, said:

“The council would like to hear from people by 4pm on Wednesday 23 June 2021. There is then a further month in which any further views are encouraged, taking us up to 4pm on 30 July. A final decision will then be issued by the deadline of 5 August 2021.

“We have already made town councils and parish councils aware that this consultation is starting after the Shropshire Council local elections so that as many people as possible can have their say, including newly elected councillors. We know that many of these payphones have come up before, and we are producing a spreadsheet recording details of comments from previous occasions, for all the payphones affected. This will be on the council website from Tuesday 11 May, in the section on BT payphones.

“This time around, we are particularly keen to hear about any issues with mobile phone coverage at any of the payphone locations, to help us build up as good a picture as possible of where there continue to be such issues. This is not least due to our concerns with regard to payphones in isolated locations, and indeed for people who may not have mobile phones themselves.”

During the 90-day period, the job of the council as the Local Planning Authority is to seek views from local town councils and parish councils and to include any views from local councillors, residents, and so forth, in order to help reach 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 or town council wish to adopt.

The necessary arrangements are being made with local town councils, parish councils and freshly-elected Shropshire Councillors accordingly, in order to seek views on behalf of the local community in each area affected. These include publicising the details so that anyone from the public who wish to comment will be able to do so.

Online resources, including the full listing, are available on the Shropshire Council website.

For feedback on your views, contact the lead co-ordinating officer, Lois Dale via lois.dale@shropshire.gov.uk to ensure the council has a written record of these views.

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