In BT's latest round of kiosk cutbacks, thousands of kiosks are to be taken out of public service - new and old - but the majority will be historic red kiosks.
However, BT have recently had to reply to public outrage as they remove and destroy our much-loved red kiosks, by offering local communities and authorities the chance to 'adopt' and 'sponsor' local kiosks so that they remain where they are in public places.
Almost any red kiosk can be adopted - this is where a local authority (e.g. Town, Parish council) can 'buy' the kiosk from BT for £1, but the telephone is taken out and all the running costs, maintenance etc. are funded by the authority concerned. Some communities have found new uses for their local kiosk after being hell-bent on keeping their piece of British heritage.
Sponsoring a kiosk can be achieved, again, by the local authority funding the maintenance of the kiosk - such as repairs, telephone servicing, etc. But this can cost a lot more than just adopting the kiosk.
What can we do?
Anyone can lobby their local council, and state that they would like to keep their local kiosk for whatever reason - you could even state that you would offer to maintain the kiosk once BT sells it. All you have to do is inform your local council of BT's adoption and sponsor programmes (link to website below) and that it would be in the public interest to keep the relevant kiosk(s) where they are - even if it has a telephone in or not.
As more and more public telephones become obsolete - even though they are a public service and a lifeline to us all - it doesn't mean that we can just let our heritage disappear - forever.
For more information about BT's adoption and sponsorship proagrammes - please click here.
Please feel free to get in touch for advice, support and stories about how you and your community have help save a kiosk.
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