Barlborough’s red telephone box will not be removed. Following the public consultation process, Bolsover District Council objected to a number of red telephone boxes throughout the district being removed. This means that BT will have to retain the kiosk on High Street and the telephone service provided. BT do have a right of appeal to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, although this has never been used.
Our district councillors’ Eion Watts and Hilary Gilmour clearly don’t know what is going on. Cllr Gilmour was hoping our telephone box would be ‘saved’ as there is currently an application in with English Heritage to have it listed. Cllr Watts on the other hand was dishing out information at a recent parish council meeting where BT are now giving local council’s the option of ‘adopting’ telephone boxes. For an additional charge of £500 per year, councils can retain a working telephone rather than just having the empty box – a decision had to be made by October 1st.
It transpires that neither of these factors influence the retention of our telephone box. While having it listed is an added benefit, adopting the telephone box would have been a waste of time and money (because it isn’t going to be removed).
Cllr Watts and Gilmour should have known this, but clearly didn’t. If they don’t have a handle on a relatively straighforward telephone box retention issue, then there isn’t much hope for them getting their heads around major planning issues which affect Barlborough.
N.B. The ex-Labour controlled Parish Council didn’t object to the removal of the red telephone box during the consultation process. That was probably because they scrapped planning meetings and the parish clerk and the parish office and quality parish status or quite simply didn’t have any particular view on it…