Revamp of town's CCTV could save council thousands of pounds


Emily Davies

A REVAMP of Oswestry’s CCTV provision could save the town council valuable funds.
But the town’s mayor has played down any suggestion that the changes will be rolled out across the whole of Shropshire, saying it is not a scheme the council wants to be involved with.
Members of the local authority have been involved in lengthy talks with Oswestry police inspector Rik Klair and his predecessor Jim Stafford, who has been brought in to look at upgrading the CCTV provision, and last week councillors agreed to reserve more than £37,000 for a CCTV system as part of the 2014/15 budget. The sum is more than £10,000 more than was reserved for 2013/14.

But despite Shropshire Council currently reviewing CCTV provision across the county as part of ongoing cutbacks and West Mercia Police last year hinting that Shropshire could become a new CCTV hub for the whole force, Oswestry mayor, Councillor Chris Schofield, said the budget would be solely used in the town centre.
He continued: “The materials we are looking at also enable a more commercial opportunity to generate funds, so that hopefully a cost efficient situation can be brought which is an important consideration for the town council.”
Last year, Mr Stafford estimated a £150,000 bill to upgrade the 12-year-old system, which currently includes one camera in Gobowen Railway Station car park.
Cllr Schofield continued: “We are now aware various (CCTV) companies have been in touch and provided a range of quotations for the replacements, but also maintenance of the system and cameras.
“We will be calling a special meeting of the council in the next few weeks to look at these quotations to see what central funding is available and importantly to see how we can introduce a sustainable system with low maintenance for the next 10 years.”

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