In 2016 BT carried out a consultation exercise in relation to telephone boxes with low usage, which it intended to decommission. Three of those boxes identified were in Winwick village.
A public consultation was carried out on behalf of BT by Warrington Borough Council at that time and the details of the consultation appeared in the local press and were shared and on social media by local councillors. One response was received by councillors. The consultation closed on 2nd December 2016.
A further consultation was held by Warrington Borough Council on their draft response to BT, which ended on 19th January 2017. The response included an indication that Winwick Parish Council might wish to adopt the telephone box on Hermitage Green. To this end, the Parish Council it wrote out to residents at 17 addresses on Golborne Road, Hermitage Close, Rosemount Cottages and Rosemount on 23rd April 2018, asking for feedback about potential uses for the telephone box. Residents were invited to attend the Parish Council meeting on 22nd May 2018 in order to discuss the matter. The Council received four replies to the letter, two supportive of keeping the box and two not.
It had come to the Council’s attention that there were issues with the condition of the box, specifically the door. 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 ultimately 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 Parish Council on 22nd May and 26th June. 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.
Had the Parish Council not considered adopting the box, the outcome would have been the same.