New North Wales CCTV system backed by board


Liam Randall

BACKING has been given for a new CCTV system for the region.

Members of the North Wales Regional Leadership Board have reached an agreement to reduce the number of individual control centres from six to two for the whole of North Wales.

Last year fears were raised that Wrexham could lose its CCTV control centre completely to either Colwyn Bay or St Asaph.

At a lead member meeting on February 19, members failed to reach a consensus on the location for the two centres.

But they agreed to produce a report which refers to a centre at Redwither Tower on Wrexham Industrial Estate and a joint control centre in St Asaph being the preferred option of some but not all local authorities.

Further work will be carried out by the project board to work out the costs of the two-centre model and a £2.4 million bid has recently been submitted to the regional collaboration fund.

The Welsh Government will decide on March 20 whether the bid has been successful.

Speaking at a meeting of Wrexham Council’s executive board, Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnership and collaboration, said: “This recommendation is going to the cabinet or executive board of the six North Wales councils before the end of March.

“If all six counties sign up that’s one of the elements that needs to be in place.

“The second is for the Welsh Government to agree to funding for £2.4m.

“We’ve got approximately 16 months life left in our current system. If for any reason the six north Wales councils can’t reach an agreement or funding isn’t forthcoming then we need to embark on a plan B.”

He added the main bone of contention for the authorities who didn’t agree to the locations, was that the western-based authorities were unsure whether the St Asaph joint control centre would meet their needs.

Members unanimously agreed to support the principle of a two-centre CCTV system for North Wales with a base in Wrexham.

They have also instructed the head of assets and economic development to develop a contingency plan in the event of the regional CCTV project failing to materialise.

Wrexham Council’s budget for CCTV for 2012/13 is £244,560, with spending of £412,350 and income of £167,790 and does not include provision for an upgrade to a digital system.

The proposed system is expected to cut costs to £374,000 by 2018-2019.

See full story in the Leader

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