Phone company BT has pledged to clean up vandalised phone boxes that were branded a “disgrace” by a Labour councillor.

BT says its engineers will do “everything possible” to remove graffiti from affected payphone boxes in Barnet.

Councillors agreed to write to BT to ask them to “bring all their phone boxes up to an acceptable standard within a reasonable timeframe” at a meeting of the environment committee on January 20.

The issue was raised by Labour environment spokesman Cllr Alan Schneiderman (Woodhouse), who has taken photographs of some of the affected boxes in North Finchley town centre.

Cllr Schneiderman said: “The state of BT phone boxes across Barnet is a disgrace with many broken, dirty and covered in graffiti.

“It’s not good enough for BT to earn money from advertising on phone boxes but fail to maintain them.

“It’s time for BT to clean up and fix their phone boxes and remove any that are no longer needed.”

At the meeting, councillors from the Conservative and Labour groups backed his call unanimously.

As well as cleaning up graffiti, BT has pledged to discuss the concerns over the state of phone boxes with Barnet Council.

The firm also encouraged anyone who witnesses people vandalising boxes to report incidents to the police.

A BT spokesperson said: “We are saddened by the vandalism to our payphones and we are currently assessing the damage.

“Our engineers will do everything possible to remove the graffiti from the boxes affected, but it unfortunately may not be possible to completely remove the graffiti that has been etched on to the metal surfaces.

“We are planning to contact the council to discuss the concerns and our payphones across Barnet. We also welcome any efforts that local authorities and police are taking to prevent vandalism and fly tipping.

“In addition, we also encourage anyone who witnesses any vandalism to payphones to report this to the police.”

Barnet Council was also approached for comment.