Future of CCTV scheme could be in jeopardy

The district council has said they are not aware of any issues with the cameras.
The district council has said they are not aware of any issues with the cameras.

The future of East Lindsey’s seven town CCTV partnership is thought to be in jeopardy amid a series of on-going problems.

The seven towns - Horncastle Alford, Louth, Mablethorpe/Sutton on Sea, Chapel St Leonards, Ingoldmells and Skegness - have been waiting over 18 months for a new digital system to be rolled out.

The new system will involve state-of-the-art cameras which will replace the current outdated equipment.

The district council supported scheme is seen as a key element in the bid to reduce crime.

However, the programme has suffered a number of setbacks, notably a delay in BT carrying out work to upgrade Wi-Fi connections. That work has now been completed.

But it emerged at a meeting of Horncastle Town Council last Tuesday that the seven towns still have a number of concerns.

Town councillors were told the new cameras had been installed in Skegness but were not working correctly at night because of problems with infrared set-up.

In addition, it is thought some of the sites for cameras in Horncastle town centre will have to be moved.

However, councillors said that could create problems with many of the buildings involved having listed status and situated in a conservation area - leading to potential problems with planning permission.

Town councillors also said they had concerns about the number of screens operatives in a control room at Boston have to monitor.

It has emerged two of the seven towns involved - Mablethorpe and Louth - are threatening to pull out of the partnership and ‘go it alone.’

Several of the towns - including Horncastle - are saying they will not pay any invoices for the system, until it is fully operational.

In a statement, ELDC said: “Horncastle Town Council have previously raised some of these concerns at a meeting with other town and parish councils. ELDC were not in attendance.

“Following that meeting, our Public Protection Service Manager, Jon Challen, addressed those concerns in a letter and a further email.

“He explained that we would need to use infrared cameras in areas impacted by a lack of light, we are not aware of any issues with these cameras.

“With regard to the perceived lack of staff provision at the control centre, this is not the case and the town and parish councils were invited to share more details as to why they have these concerns.

“In the meantime, an invitation was made for colleagues from the Boston Control Centre to attend a future meeting, to address these concerns in person.”

The ELDC spokesman also denied there were problems with the warranties on the cameras after claims they had expired because of the delays .

The spokesman added; “It is important to say that the CCTV camera contract was entered into only after consulting with each of the town/parish councils involved, and concerns could have been raised at that stage.”

No date has been agreed for the Horncastle roll out.