New lease of life for phone box

New lease of life for phone box

BACKWELL’s dilapidated phone box will soon be given a new lease of life after Backwell Parish Council agreed to adopt the iconic structure.

The council has agreed to pay BT �1 to take on the phone box in West Town Road and Paul Alan Construction has volunteered to paint the kiosk and maintain it for the next five years.

Speaking at the parish council meeting on Thursday, villager Jeremy Britton brought up the idea of adopting the kiosk.

He said: “The phone box has been in a state for two years since the door was stolen.

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“There’s an Adopt a Phone box scheme run by BT and for �1 the telephone box could be adopted by the community and put to whatever is thought of as a suitable use.

“They are a wonderful asset. I think it would be nice for the people of Backwell, rather than it being taken away or left as it is, to see it restored. It could be another demonstration of our pride in our community.”

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Backwell district councillor Karen Barclay managed to persuade BT to replace the phone box door and found a local company willing to maintain the structure.

She said: “I am delighted that the parish council has now agreed to adopt the phone box, it is part of the heritage of the village and many residents felt strongly about it remaining in the village.

“This is a good example of the community working together and achieving a positive outcome. I look forward to seeing it looking smart again and being of use to the community.”

Nigel Cottle, managing director of Paul Alan Construction, added: “We are a business in the village and we just want to give something back to the community.”

Backwell Parish Council is now asking for members of the community to send in suggestions on how the kiosk could be used.

More than 1,000 kiosks have been adopted by local councils in the UK and they have been turned into art galleries, libraries and also as a store for defibrillators in villages where it may take time for an ambulance to reach the area.

Ideas so far include using the Backwell phone box as an extra notice board for businesses and community events or for displaying school art work.

Anyone with any ideas on how to transform the old phone box can visit the parish office in Rodney Road, email or call 01275 464653.

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