New BT Consultation Review – deadline 4th June 2021
Millbrook Parish Council have been consulted regarding the potential removal of the phone kiosk in King Street.
BT have started a new phone box consultation and have identified 71 public payphones across Cornwall that aren’t being used enough and are proposing to remove them under the 90 day consultation process (consultation notices have been placed on these payphones).
There is one public payphone listed in Millbrook which is the telephone kiosk in King Street, by the Tanyard.
BT have asked the Council to respond by selecting:
- the Council is in agreement for BT to remove the phone box.
- the local community wish to adopt the payphone
- the Council object to the removal of the payphone kiosk. Should an objection be raised we are required to justify the reasons why the payphone service is still needed. Annex 1 in Ofcom’s full guidance about removing phone boxes states that BT’s Universal Service Obligation applies to the telephone, not the phone box. The guidance also details the appeals process we must follow for unreasonable objections. It would, for example, be inappropriate for a local authority to object to removal of a public call box on “heritage grounds” or because it is a local landmark.
The average number of calls made per month from this payphone is 3.
In August 2019, Millbrook Parish Council objected to the removal of the payphone kiosk. The reasons for the objection are detailed below:
The payphone is the only call box for miles, and mobile reception remains poor in the village since the last attempt by BT to remove the service. Also, the documentation states 94% of adults have a mobile phone – which means 6% do not. Many elderly people do not use mobile phones; not all parents provide their children with mobiles – which doesn’t mean they won’t ever need to contact someone in an emergency, even if not necessarily one of the emergency services. Many of the older generation, who do not have mobile phones, live in the centre of the village. The phone box is in the heart of the village located next to what is known locally as ‘The Tanyard’, which is a communal garden space with the historic stone wall of the old tannery. The traditional red phone box is valued in the community and is looked after by the Village Enhancement Team.