Streetly residents aim to save red phone box
Hundreds of residents have come together virtually to save their red phone box.
The phone box in Streetly had been marked by current owners BT for removal, but resident Anne-Marie Goodchild saw an opportunity to reclaim and reinvent it.
“I worked for BT for 41 years before retirement, so these old phone boxes have a particular resonance for me,” said Anne-Marie.
After posting about it on social media, Anne-Marie found that there was a lot of support from local residents who want to see it reused as a book swap, community noticeboard or defibrillator location.
Jennifer Gray, who runs “Streetly Community Group” on Facebook, set up a petition to garner local support.
Alongside Anne-Marie, she plans to present this to Staffordshire County Council, and ask them to adopt the phone box for £1.
She said: “The community have spoken clearly in favour of keeping this beautiful relic. At time of writing, 415 people have signed the petition to keep it, and many have left encouraging comments.
“There are few of these old phone boxes left so we must treasure them. They are an international icon of Britain, and wonderful constructions in their own right.
“I encourage all residents to support the petition and keep the phone box so that it can be enjoyed by future generations."
A BT spokesman said: “Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade. We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones, including whether others are available nearby and usage.
“We are currently consulting with the local authority on the removal of a red phone box outside the Co-Op in Streetly, providing the community with the chance to comment on our proposal. As part of the consultation, we are also offering the chance to adopt this box for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme.
“Following a request from the local community we have put on hold the removal of this particular box so an adoption request can be submitted. Adopted kiosks can be turned into a community asset, such as a defibrillator site or mini library. For more details visit bt.com/adopt.”
Readers can sign in support on change.org by visiting http://chng.it/Q7gX525g