PLANS by BT to remove seven phone boxes from Oswaldtwistle, three from Accrington, three from Church, two from Great Harwood and one from Clayton-le-Moors have led to demands for meetings before the axe falls.
Oswaldtwistle councillors, in particular, feel their area is badly hit and Tory group leader Peter Britcliffe is insisting that BT should meet members of the Area Council before any final decision is made.
Councillor Britcliffe said: "BT says this cull represents less than 10 per cent of its pay phones across the country, but it is a much larger proportion than that in Oswaldtwistle. Not everybody has mobile phones around here and we are clearly getting the worst treatment in the borough."
Another Oswaldtwistle councillor, Doug Hayes, said: "It is the poorer and older people who use the pay phones and they are the ones left behind by the technological revolution. It is vital that BT hears what the public has to say before it makes this decision.''
BT normally allows 28 days for representations from the date of the letter sent to Hyndburn Council - and that deadline expired on New Year's Eve - but it has now extended the deadline until mid-January.
Hyndburn Chief Executive, Mike Chambers, has written back to BT expressing worries about the plan and a BT spokeswoman said councillors and residents were welcome to make representations.
Councillor Britcliffe said: "I am sure BT will realise this consultation has been delayed by Christmas and the New Year and not go ahead until we have had a chance to make proper representation, as early as possible in the New Year."
The closures are the first part of a national plan to cut 12,000 phone boxes, although BT says a quarter of the 120,000 phone boxes nationally "no longer meet the needs of customers." It says it aims to ensure a basic service within easy reach of all communities.
A BT spokeswoman said: "If the council or any resident has any specific concern about particular boxes we would like to know by 14 January. We will not remove a specific box where there have been objections until we have discussed it thoroughly with local people."
The 17 phone boxes BT wants to close in Hyndburn include seven in Oswaldtwistle - at the junction of Union Road and Mill Street, in Heys Lane, Thwaites Road, New Lane, Catlow Hall Street, the junction of Lord Street and Union Road near the Town Hall and Rank Lane, Knuzden Brook.
In Accrington three boxes, in Queen's Road West, Hyndburn Road and Sandy Lane, are planned to close. In Church another three, in Manor Place, Market Street, and Church Street, will go under the closure plan.
In Clayton-le-Moors the box in Gloucester Avenue is to go and in Great Harwood those in Russell Place and Moss Street. The 17th box is within the borough but has a postal address in Accrington Road, Blackburn.