August 22, 2011
CCTV costs in spotlight by cash-strapped district council
Sedgemoor District Council wants Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
Town Council to take over the cost of running CCTV cameras in
the two towns as part of a new round of financial cuts.
Alison Griffin, Sedgemoor's Corporate Director for Customers and
Communities, outlined the controversial plans to the Town Council's
Policy and Finance Committee this week - and also hinted that
other costs, for parks maintenance, could also be headed to the
Town Council too.
said cuts in central government income mean the district council
will be unable to continue funding the existing CCTV service in
Burnham and Highbridge in its current form from next April.
has asked Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to contribute towards
the high cost of managing CCTV cameras in locations such as Highbridge's
Apex Park and Burnham High Street - or consider a reduction in
Griffin told town councillors: "We are seeking a contribution
towards the cost of running the CCTV cameras. We are doing as
much as we can with limited resources at the moment."
Ken Smout added at the council meeting: "Where will it all
end? If the Town Council gives contributions towards CCTV and
other district-run services, will a similar amount be expected
next year? I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg."
added: "I can't see why the Town Council would want to fund
the cameras 24 hours a day. Unlike some other towns, many of our
CCTV trouble spots are only a problem for 4-5 hours a day, so
it's difficult to assess their value."
Phil Harvey added: "There's no way the Town Council can pick
up the full costs. We need a detailed breakdown of the costs per
camera in Burnham and Highbridge and have a clear indication as
to whether they will be maintained or reduced."
Griffin added that a contribution had been sought from Avon and
Somerset Police, but said funding has not been forthcoming.
Mills, Chairman of Burnham's Chamber of Trade, told Burnham-On-Sea.com
that many traders pay around £400 per year to participate
in Burnham's Radiolink scheme, which covers a donation towards
cameras are a good deterrent for criminals and we wouldn't want
them scaled back," she said.
matter will be re-considered in more detail at an upcoming Town
Council meeting in September.
Chris Williams, who chairs the Town Council's Policy and Finance
Committee, said he is keen to avoid having to raise the town council's
precept to cover the costs. "We want to avoid going to the
public if at all possible," he said.
number of services are being cut back by Sedgemoor District Council,
which faces a reduction in its government income of around £800,000
- although this is not as bad as the £1.3m reduction that
was first feared.