Funding for CCTV cameras in Blaenau Gwent questioned as councillors seek clarity on UK Government scheme
CLARITY is being sought over funding for new CCTV cameras in Blaenau Gwent.
Later this month councillors will be briefed on the service level agreement (SLA) Blaenau Gwent has with Caerphilly council to run the public space CCTV cameras across the county borough.
But some councillors have spoken with police officers and are under the impression that further funding under a UK Government scheme will also be used in Blaenau Gwent.
At a meeting of the council’s Place Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, September 4, CCTV cropped up for discussion.
Independent group deputy leader, Cllr Wayne Hodgins said that he and fellow Brynmawr county councillor Jules Gardner (Labour) had been told of “significant funding coming our way” from, the Police Safe Streets grant.
He wanted a member briefing to discuss detail of where CCTV cameras from this source of funding would be placed to combat anti-social behaviour,
Cllr Hodgins said: “I would like to see a matrix of where the money will be spent in our towns and areas where there is anti-social behaviour.
Committee chairman, Cllr Malcolm Cross said: “We want our citizens in all our towns to feel a little safer and that monitoring is well worthwhile.”
Policy and partnerships service manager, Andrew Parker said “There is a member briefing for CCTV on September 28 and that’s where we’ll take you through the up to date position on the current arrangements of the service level agreement, we’ve moved into with Caerphilly.
“In relation to the Safer Streets funding I can pick that in the session and outline some of the complexities about it and how that actually works.”
Cllr Hodgins said: “When this funding arrives in the hands of Blaenau Gwent, I would like to see members have an input in how it’s spent.”
He believed that in the region of £250,000 for CCTV would be coming the council’s way.
Mr Parker believed that they were talking about two “separate things” as the Safer Streets funding doesn’t come directly to Blaenau Gwent
He explained that the office of the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Jeff Cuthbert would need to submit a bid to the UK Government for a grant from the Safer Streets pot.
He added that a discussion between all the Gwent authorities and the commissioner’s office on “where best” to target the funding had taken place in August.
Mr Parker stressed: “Please don’t think there’s a grant coming directly to Blaenau Gwent for CCTV – we are not the bidding authority, it’s the PCC’s office and the funding across the Gwent area is very specific on what it can be used for.”
“CCTV is one of themes – other elements such as streetlighting and youth projects that prevent anti-social behaviour are also part of it.”
He said that the meeting on September 28 will update councillors on the council’s CCTV agreement with Caerphilly and explain that the scheme is at the “tail end” of its testing phase.
Cllr Hodgins said: “It appears we have had a mixed message.”
Cllr Hodgins added that Mr Cuthbert is expected to meet Brynmawr Town Council on September 19 and he would endeavour to “clarify the information” at that meeting.
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