March 9 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A plan to save CCTV cameras in Fakenham, Sheringham and North Walsham has been put forward – but residents may be asked to accept a rise in council tax to help pay for it.
It has also emerged there is a possibility security cameras may remain in Wells and Cromer, despite the councils for both towns pulling out of the fight to save them.
North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) cabinet has voted to scrap all its CCTV cameras to save £200,000 per year. They are due to be switched off in March.
North Walsham, Sheringham and Fakenham town councils have been working on a plan to retain a CCTV service in their towns, but Cromer and Wells town councils pulled out for financial reasons.
The three town councils have now written to NNDC asking for its CCTV hardware to be handed to the company Secure Defence UK. They have also asked the district council to put up £90,000 to cover costs of reconfiguring the CCTV system.
They say it would cost NNDC £95,000 to decommission the cameras, so this would save £5,000.
The town councils would then be responsible for the costs of maintaining the cameras.
They have called for a meeting with NNDC and then want to put the proposal to its cabinet.
Sheringham mayor Doug Smith said: “All three councils have approved the future funding of the CCTV system offered by Secure Defence Ltd. The new system will work in an entirely different way using modern wireless and internet technology.
“Each town’s cameras will be proactively controlled and monitored by the police themselves.
“This is a far superior and far cheaper system of working than the current set up.”
If the maintenance costs do not fall within the town councils’ budgets residents may be asked if they are prepared to pay an increase in council tax to keep security cameras.
Fakenham mayor Adrian Vertigan said: “If the people of Fakenham are not prepared to do that then we can pull out of the plan. They will be fully consulted.”
Mr Smith said Cromer and Wells town councils will be approached by Secure Defence UK about the possibility of the company running security cameras in those towns.
An NNDC spokesman said: “We will be considering the town councils’ proposal in due course and responding to them as soon as we can.”