Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Cornwall CCTV - what a shambles

Also at today's Cabinet meeting, there was an item on CCTV in Cornwall. This title was slightly misleading as only schemes in the mid and west are affected. East Cornwall (including Launceston) CCTV schemes receive no money from Cornwall Council.

The basic issue is that the Council wants the local town councils to contribute to the costs of the monitoring operation. An inquiry by the scrutiny committee recommended that Cornwall Council continue to fund the monitoring operation. But this recommendation was not taken up the Cabinet who proposed that the affected councils stump up around £10,000 each to contribute to the costs.

The trouble is that local town councils have already fixed their budgets for next year and, unless they were omniscient, they have not budgeted for this. They have been told that they need to respond positively by Friday.

The proposal was that if the towns came up with the money then the monitoring could go ahead but if any of them refused then monitoring would cease - a fact of which many of the towns are believed to be unaware.

But then, just as the debate was drawing to a conclusion, cabinet member Julian German posed the killer question. He asked whether any of the towns had already written to say they would not be contributing. The officer confirmed that Falmouth had done so and it was suggested that this was also the case with Penzance.

And so the debate turned into a farce. With one of the two options apparently already ruled out, there appears no other option but that CCTV in the eleven towns will no longer be monitored.

The towns affected are:

St Austell
St Ives

Of course, the loss of CCTV monitoring in Newquay may do significant damage to the success of the Newquay Safe Partnership - a project which has, quite rightly, garnered much praise.

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