Report from the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment.
Consideration was given to a report submitted for information which detailed the decision taken by officers under delegated powers in respect of the proposal from BT to remove the public phone box at the junction of Wensleydale and Teesdale Road, Rotherham.
It was reported that, following a period of public consultation and in line with Ofcom guidance, a delegated decision was made by the Assistant Director (Planning Regeneration and Transport) on the proposal. Consultations were carried out through the Council’s website and press notices published. In the first consultation period, no comments were received regarding the payphone closure. In the second consultation a response was received that the Ward Councillors, Local Policing Team and Housing Officers for the area considered that the phone box could be removed. However, having regard to the consultation comments received and Ofcom’s proposal for stronger protection of public phone boxes, it was recommended that the Council object to the removal of the telephony service as it met the criteria for retention. This was due to the amount of usage the phone box received in the past 52 weeks being above the threshold for retention in the Council’s local criteria.
The decision of the Assistant Director was to object to BT’s proposals and apply the local veto to the phone box, whereby BT were required to keep the pay phone in use. The schedule showing the decision was included at Appendix 1 to the report. BT and the Secretary of State were informed of the Council’s decision within the extended deadline of 28th February, 2022.
1. That Cabinet notes the decision to retain the BT public phone box at the junction of Wensleydale and Teesdale Road, Rotherham under the local veto.