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Safety campaigner hopeful for future of town’s CCTV

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ALOCALcommunity safety campaigner has welcomed the news that the town council is to explore the future development of the town’s CCTV coverage.

The news comes following criticism last month by the chairperson of the Melksham Area Community Safety Group, Colin Goodhind, when the town council failed to allocate any money to the town’s CCTV scheme in the 2020/21 budget.

As reported last month in the Melksham News, Colin said that the town’s CCTV scheme is in desperate need of investment to improve its coverage and ‘inadequate’ storage system.

In response to Colin’s criticism and his decision to end his involvement in the scheme, at a meeting last week the majority of town councillors voted in favour of forming a working group to explore what a ‘comprehensive CCTV solution’ for the town might look like and how much it might cost.

“I genuinely welcome this news,”  said Colin, speaking to Melksham News. “However, from past experience I would suggest that the community watches the progress of this project carefully. I hope that we will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this working group.”

At the town council’s asset management committee meeting last week, cllr Martin Pain said, “CCTV is necessary for the safety and security of this town – we need to have cameras.

“We are not in position to sit back and say that we are a nice market town and that we don’t have any crime – that’s not true – our crime level is going up, not down, and we need security cameras in the town.”

However, at the meeting some councillors questioned if the Melksham community wanted CCTV, referencing the Melksham News story from issue 753, which received no online backlash when posted on Facebook.

Leader of the town council, cllr Vanessa Fiorelli, “We must consult the community and ask them: Do you want CCTV? And are you prepared to pay extra in your council tax for it?”

In response, Colin told Melksham News, “I think that are wrong. But they should put it to the community in some way – I would be surprised if people said that they didn’t want it.”

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