'Cuts to local services mean that in many parishes across England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have different arrangements) the precept – the extra council tax charged by parishes – is going up. Where district and other authorities can no longer afford to run services, parishes are picking up the tab.'
Red Phone Box
There was some debate during Tuesday's Parish Council meeting, about whether or not the red telephone box at Wasp's Nest should replace the obsolete modern telephone box on School Lane/The Green.
It transpires the dilapidated red box is a formal asset of the Parish Council, given that a nominal fee of £1 was paid to BT to 'adopt' the phone box. As such, it is rather remiss that this asset has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where it now needs complete renovation and a purpose found for it.
Councillor Williams who has been pursuing this matter should be commended. Preliminary arrangements and contacts have been established with interested parties to enable renovation to take place. This ambition is totally understandable given the historic connection of the red telephone box with All Saint's Church in Nocton - see my blog of 27 April 2015.
That said, the idea to relocate the phone box without wider consultation is somewhat flawed. Firstly, it appears there hasn't been any discussion with the Wasp's Nest community, who are quite attached to their red telephone box, which is used as a way-marker for visitors to the area. Secondly, the agreement with BT (see below) seems to indicate a requirement to retain the telephone box in the current location.
Given the Gilbert Scott connection with Nocton, perhaps the Parish Council will now find a way of renovating their asset without further delay and find a future use with full community support.
|Plate 1 - Neglected state of Wasp's Nest telephone box|
|Plate 2 - Interior fares slightly better|
|Plate 3 - Delamination of paint finish|
|Plate 4 - Renovation long overdue|
Plate 5 - The obligation on the Parish Council "to
safeguard this heritage structure indefinitely"
|Plate 6 - Location at Wasp's Nest|
Please see the following petition from residents of Wasp's Nest to be considered at the Parish Council meeting dated 9th May 2017.