I have objected to British Telecom’s plan to decommission and remove the isolated telephone box at Nantymaen in the Cambrian Mountains in Ceredigion.
This is at grid reference SN762577, at the junction of the Tregaron-Abergwesyn road and the Camddwr valley road. It is extremely remote with few houses for miles and no mobile signal. This phone box is a vital lifeline for people who are in difficulty in this wild countryside. There are two hostels in the vicinity and it is a popular area for quiet recreation.
The phone box has suffered from vandalism but it needs to be restored not removed.
The Cambrian Mountains Society and the Elenydd Wilderness Hostels are urging people to object. You should send your objection to email@example.com quoting reference SY256NW before 2 January. However, when running a campaign it helps to explain who is the decision-maker. I was puzzled as to why one should send objections to the planning authority when this was a BT matter, so I looked up the process for closing a phone box.
Power of veto
The decision-maker is BT but the ‘relevant public body’, in this case Ceredigion County Council, has a power of veto. It is therefore necessary to persuade the council to exercise this power.
The council must consult local people and organisations and consider the effect on the local population, whether the phone is needed for emergencies and the amount of business the phone gets. Once it has decided its response it must consult again before reaching the final decision.
In this case, the phone is extremely important for emergencies, and for people who visit the area as much, if not more than, those who live here. The council must be persuaded to give the emergency factor due recognition.
So please send your objection now!