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Plan to charge police to use CCTV rejected

Councillors have backed down over a suggestion they could ban police from accessing the council’s CCTV system.

Welshpool Town Council has heavily invested in its street camera system in recent years.

But members were left angered when it was suggested that the area would be at the bottom of the pile in a new £2 million funding scheme.

Some members had floated the possibility of changing the locks on the CCTV room, which is based in the town hall, in Broad Street, and even charging the force a fee for getting copies of tapes.

But at a full town council meeting this week members voted against any such action being taken, claiming the public would not support them if they withdrew access for the police.

Dyfed-Powys Police commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn had recently announced a £2m pot of funding to switch on disused CCTV cameras across Powys, and it was claimed that Welshpool was told it was at the bottom of the pile.

Grungog ward’s councillor David Senior said: “I cannot support these recommendations.

“If we do people in Welshpool will see the town council as failing to cooperate with police and that would be a mistake. “When the commissioner came we seemed to go on the attack. “We didn’t give credit for progress made. In the past, police officers would leave Welshpool and there would be a gap before they were replaced. The force has stopped doing that now which is a good thing. “At no point was it mentioned that Welshpool was going to be at the bottom of the pile.

'Making enemies'

“I found that meeting disappointing. Rather than making friends with somebody who is quite important to Welshpool we seemed to be intent on making enemies.

“We have got to remember that we are only one of a number of towns in Dyfed Powys that need funding.”

Llanerchyddol ward’s councillor Alison Davies said: “Last weekend there were several windows broken in the town and due to the CCTV the police found the culprits within a matter of days. “What we want is for this town to work as effectively and cooperatively as possible with our partners.”

Councillor Stephen Kaye, Mayor of Welshpool Town Council, told the meeting that he felt strongly about the issue.

He said: “We are not taking the CCTV off the police. We are not stopping them from using it, but they need to pay.

“They are using our equipment and we are paying for it. “It is double taxing. Our taxpayers have paid for the system. “We are telling that organisation that it is about time that you start funding us. “We give money to them all the time and it is about time they give something to us.”

Following a town council debate, councillors voted to reject the recommendations by nine votes to six.


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