Iconic red phone box set to be “saved” and moved to a central High Street location.
Councillors urged to talk to residents to find out what townspeople want it used for.
A red phone box is set to be moved from near the railway station car park to near the old post office in Uckfield High Street.
Members of the town council’s general purposes committee last night (August 15) agreed on a preferred location for the box, between Hartfield’s and the old post office, where two redundant pay phone boxes stand.
The council can buy the phone box from BT for £1.
A number of ideas for future use were put before the committee but members decided to pause on making a final decision and consult the public.
Committee chairman, Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central Ward, believed the red phone box should be moved to where the defunct boxes are outside Hartfield’s.
“My personal suggestion would be a ‘defib’ (defibrillator) in there.
“I know people are saying there is one at the library.
‘Use it to house a defibrillator’
“It is not that well known. If that was in the centre, that would be quite good.
“I have quite a few people come up to me and say they would like a defib put in there.”
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood, said the location was “obvious” – replacing the disused High Street phone boxes.
He pointed to an article in the Guardian which listed 400 different uses for red phone boxes.
“We have a bit of time to look at this,” he said.
How much will it cost to move?
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town, asked what the costs of moving would be. “I assume we are going to have to pay for the moving,” he said.
Town clerk Holly Goring said the team had been looking at costs but at the moment no detailed figure was available.
“The first thing of concern to us is that at the moment it is on a concrete plinth and we want to take it off that.”
She said BT was waiting for the power supply to the redundant phone boxes near Hartfield’s to be disconnected before removal.
No scheduled date was available.
‘Ask townspeople what they think’
“I am currently chasing and chasing to get a time scale on that but obviously the first thing would be to remove that plinth and make it completely safe.”
Councillors agreed they would like to move the phone box to near to Hartfield’s and will discuss at their next meeting possible uses.
Cllr Ward said: “Can I ask all councillors to put their thinking caps on, have chats with as many of your electorate as you can to come up with suggestions.”
Earlier Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, Uckfield North, spoke from the public gallery on the proposal – she is not a member of the committee.
She had sought ideas from Facebook users over the weekend.
“I suggested we perhaps could use it as a tourist information kiosk and perhaps put it into the centre of the town.”
This generated 134 “likes” on Facebook; seven people “loved” that idea.
There were many other ideas, she said.
“A lot of people do want to keep it; it is iconic, part of history,” Cllr French said.
Read more in the Uckfield News story carried on Friday: Uckfield Town Council is buying red telephone box and deciding what to do with it.
Members of the general purposes committee present at the meeting
Chairman: Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central Ward
Vice-chairman, Cllr Jackie Love, Trust Independent, North Ward
Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Keith Everett, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central Ward
Cllr Paul Meakin, Liberal Democrat, Central Ward
Cllr Ian Smith, Independent, Ridgewood
Cllr Louise Eastwood, Trust Independent, North,
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