BURTON Town Hall has agreed to numerous measures designed to keep its CCTV provision affordable in future years.
This includes looking to recoup the costs of monitoring and operating the controversial High Street bollards – said to be over £36,000 a year – from Staffordshire County Council.
East Staffordshire Borough Council’s cabinet met to discuss a review of CCTV coverage across Burton and Uttoxeter on the day when the Home Office issued new guidelines on CCTV.
Local authorities now have to ensure that CCTV systems are directed at areas where the need can be demonstrated rather than having blanket coverage.
To ensure that the council’s CCTV cameras focus on areas where evidence suggests there is a need, cabinet agreed to reinvest savings and to utilise cameras in areas of little or no activity to replace or repair cameras in priority locations.
This will help save money, as, in its present form, the borough’s CCTV system would cost the council £800,000 over the next three years.
Councillor Julia Jessel, deputy leader for regulatory service, said: “The council must evaluate how it deploys its limited resources.
“By combining investment from our savings and focusing on our priority locations, we can ensure that we target the correct areas, providing more value for money to our residents while maintaining an efficient service.”
Going in to the meeting, the opposition Labour group had expressed concerns at the review’s recommendation to remove 24 little-used cameras to replace/repair in priority locations.
Labour group leader on the borough council, Julian Mott, said it would ‘send out the wrong message about crime and antisocial behaviour’.
However, the cabinet agreed to add to that recommendation ‘subject to further review’ to ease those concerns.
Councillor Jessel added: “I think it was always the intention to investigate each camera site fully. It was not a direct assumption that those listed would be decommissioned.”
Another recommendation agreed was to implement charges on privately owned cameras which the council currently monitors from its CCTV control room.