Decision details

Proposed removal of Four Public Call Boxes in Somerset West and Taunton- Final Decision to Object

Decision Maker: Community Portfolio Holder

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Details of decision:  British Telecommunications plc (BT) has recently contacted the Council concerning proposals to remove four public call boxes within the Somerset West and Taunton area.


With the spread of mobile telephone communications the need for public telephone boxes has significantly declined over the past few years and is likely to continue leading to the current proposal.  The telephone box the subject of this proposal has been monitored for 12 months by BT and very low usage (in many cases no use at all) has been recorded.


Consultations with the appropriate Ward Councillors and Parish Councils have taken place within the last couple of months and the responses received confirm a wish to raise an objection to the removal have been added into the attached Schedule.


This Schedule formed a ‘draft’ decision which had to be notified to both BT and the Secretary of State.


A further round of consultation has been undertaken before the end of May 2021 before this ‘final’ decision in respect of the telephone boxes identified is being issued by the Council as the ‘Relevant Public Body’.


At this final stage, Executive Councillor Chris Booth has agreed that the final decision should be published and sent to BT and the Secretary of State.






Reasons for proposed decision:  BT has been assessing usage of public telephone boxes in the Somerset West and Taunton Area and has found that these boxes have not been used at all during the last year or on such an infrequent basis that it is simply not worthwhile keeping the boxes listed operational.





Alternative funding options sourced: None





The below has been completed:






Relevant ward councillor(s) consulted

Cllrs Firmin, Darch, Sully, Whetlor, Aldridge, Davies, Morgan, Milne



The following are if appropriate / applicable:  Yes/No.  If yes the implications should be attached to this decision notice.


Finance implications




Legal implications




Links to corporate aims




Community Safety implications


Where local communities have expressed concerns about the loss of call boxes within an area –say with poor mobile reception – the Council has supported the request to lodge an objection against the removal of the call box.


Environmental implications

Aesthetically some boxes are likely to be adopted to maintain the current street scene.


Equalities Impact




Safeguarding Implications



Risk management




Partnership implications




Any conflicts of interest declared by Leader or Executive Members consulted on the proposed decision.  If Yes provide confirmation from Chief Executive to grant dispensation for the Leader’s / Executive Member’s views to be considered.


Not Applicable


Publication date: 08/06/2021

Date of decision: 08/06/2021

Effective from: 16/06/2021

Accompanying Documents: