BOROUGH chiefs want to preserve 13 “historic” red telephone boxes across Ellesmere Port & Neston.
Three of the kiosks – officially called K6 after the design number – are already protected legally and four more are in Conservation Areas.
Now the authority is to discuss a proposal by British Telecom (BT) to allow councils to adopt telephone kiosks in their towns.
A planning report told how the K6 kiosks were designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and were introduced in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V.
They have since become a British icon, have heritage value and are considered to be an important part of the street scene. Some K6 kiosks were statutorily listed as protected facilities.
The report adds: “The public payphone service had undergone considerable changes since the 1960s when there were 70,000 telephone kiosks across the country.
“Use of mobile phones had meant that payphones are now increasingly less used. However, the public phone service could still play an important part in community life.
“BT is offering a “sponsored kiosk” scheme to us.
“In essence, if the phone equipment in the kiosk is maintained, this would cost local authorities £500 a year for each kiosk.
“A secondary “adopt a kiosk” proposal is also proposed by BT, in which the phone equipment would be removed and BT would transfer ownership to the local authority.
“The borough is fortunate to have so many K6 telephone boxes still in existence within our boundary.
“They form an important part of the street scene and are of conservation value, whether situated in conservation areas or not.”
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