Phone booth may be saved

A PHONE box may become a listed building to save it from being paid for by the public and to stop it being taken down. The booth, which stands proudly outside the Foakes Hall in Great Dunmow, is a traditional old style red phone telephone box that still

A PHONE box may become a listed building to save it from being paid for by the public and to stop it being taken down.

The booth, which stands proudly outside the Foakes Hall in Great Dunmow, is a traditional 'old style' red phone telephone box that still provides a BT line for anyone wishing to make a call.

BT wants to remove the phone box as part of an initiative to remove 14,000 nationally to save costs, but Dunmow Town Council has the option of taking ownership of the phone box under a 'Sponsor a kiosk' scheme.

Currently there are three pay phones in Dunmow costing a total of £500 a year to run, but councillors and members of the public believe that they can be vital in an emergency.


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The town council's finance and policy chairman, John Davey, said: "It comes down to BT trying to save money by offloading the phone boxes onto local authorities.

"To be honest we probably only need to keep two of them at most. I, for one, am fed up of seeing the kiosk in Church End smashed to bits on a regular basis."

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Because Foakes Hall is the designated gathering point in the town in case of any serious emergency it seems councillors are very keen on keeping at least the red phone box outside.

Although a contract has been drafted for the council to take control on the basis of 'cultural importance' and to keep the phone system inside active, it has been muted that maybe the building could be listed as an old house would be, thus protecting it from demolition by BT.

Cllr Davey made the point that if the phone box was protected it would not only stop BT getting rid of it, but enable the town council to save money on paying for its upkeep.

Councillors instructed the clerk to look into the possibility and report back at a further meeting were the decision on whether to adopt the old red box is likely to be taken.

What do you think? E-mail editor@dunmowbroadcast.co.uk or write to us at 54 High Street Saffron Walden, CB10 1EE.

You can now let us have your thoughts on this and other stories in Dunmow by texting us on 07804 217442, but don't forget your name and address.

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