Council responds strongly to BT’s proposals

After careful consideration of responses to the first phase of consultation the City Council will issue its ‘First Notification’ to BT on Friday.

In that notification the City Council will object to the removal of 41 out of the 43 phone boxes identified as uneconomic by BT. The case for retaining two phone boxes, at Woodlands, Bramdean and Church lane, Durley appears to be difficult to justify and the City Council does not propose to object to the removal of these.

Commenting on the decision, Leader of Winchester City Council Cllr George Beckett said, “We have considered usage levels, the comments of residents and parish councils and the importance of retaining local facilities particularly in rural areas. Whilst we appreciate these phone boxes may be uneconomic for BT, they are important local amenities. The day may come when everyone has a mobile phone, but we are not there yet and the phone boxes must stay.

“Our process has been robust and consistent with Ofcom guidance and there is now the opportunity for public comment on our First Notification to BT until 29th August, after which our Final Notification will be issued.”