Parishes refusing to pay for CCTV

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SOUTH Holland’s CCTV surveillance has been doing such a poor job at Sutton Bridge and Crowland that the two parish councils won’t be pressed to pay for its maintenance for the past year.

Broken cameras that haven’t been fixed because maintenance workers can’t reach them have brought complaints from the two centres.

Both parish councils refused to pay maintenance fees to South Holland District Council – in Sutton Bridge the bill was for £2,400 for 2011/12.

Coun Nick Worth, the cabinet member responsible for the CCTV system which has served the district for several years, said: “I’m willing to admit that these two parishes haven’t had the best of service from the system.

“We won’t be chasing them for the year’s maintenance fees, partly because we’re going to be bringing in a new improved CCTV scheme.

“It’ll be recommended to the South Holland District cabinet this month that we bring in 24/7 monitoring by a professional team to replace volunteers, who aren’t 24/7.

“We hope to position cameras better so that Grimstons who have the maintenance contract can get at them and make repairs – the main problem in both places.

“We’re also hoping to bring in more flexible cameras which can move and zoom in and therefore be much more efficient. In Crowland Grimstons’ engineers are waiting for residents’ permission to get in and make repairs to cameras on their property and they are planning to do so at Sutton Bridge too. “Neither Sutton Bridge nor Crowland will be charged for their CCTV while the cameras have been out of action.”

Parish councils in Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge, which all have existing CCTVs, as well as others who might like to join the new, improved scheme, will be consulted about their requirements if it is approved at the meeting this month.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council chairman Coun John Grimwood said: “There’s no doubt that CCTV acts as a deterrent but it needs to be working!”