CAMPAIGNERS are calling for ‘an iconic piece of heritage’ to be restored after it was removed from Hermitage Green in Winwick.

Residents have rallied together in a bid to have the traditional red telephone booth reinstated on Golborne Road with some claiming they were not given the chance to fight for its future.

Claire Rice said: “In 2017 we received a letter from the council about the proposed plans to adopt the phonebox. It painted a very reassuring picture describing it as an iconic piece of heritage and stating that the council was hoping to purchase it to preserve and enhance the character of the village green.

“There was no mention of any plans to remove the box. The next thing residents knew, it was being removed.

“The council claim to have advertised this on social media but there are strict guidelines which are set out by Ofcom.

“BT and the council have a duty to ensure all affected people receive a notice.

“We believe we have been misled and overlooked. The council had made the suggestion that it might be used to house a defibrillator. This was well supported by residents as it is on a dangerous bend with no traffic calming measures."

It is understood the council received four replies to the letter, two in favour of keeping the box and two against.

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A spokesman for Winwick Parish Council confirmed a decision had been made due to the phone box’s condition.

He added: “The parish council wrote to BT to ask that the box be repaired prior to the adoption taking place, due to serious concerns that bringing the box into a good state of repair and then maintaining it would be costly.

“BT replied to say that the parish council would have to adopt the box in its present state and that, at best, they would only consider minor repairs to the hinges. The issue was discussed at the parish council on May 22 and June 26. At the meeting in June, significant concerns were raised about the state of the door, cleanliness, misuse and the costs of on-going repairs.

“There was a lengthy discussion which also involved residents from Hermitage Green.

“After much thought, the parish council decided not to continue with the adoption.”