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PLANS for a new CCTV system covering the town could be delayed for up to six months, after an application for grant funding was deferred.
Melksham Town Council, who are leading the project, applied to the Melksham Area Board for £2,500 to help fund an investigation to explore what CCTV provision is currently available to help move the project forward.
However, area board councillors raised concerns about the “lack of maturity” of the project, and criticised the lack of detail in the grant application, which they said did not fully explain what the money was needed for.
Councillors decided to defer the application to the next meeting, which will be held in June, requesting that a more detailed report be available to support it.
Warning the councilors of what a deferral could do to the project, cllr Adrienne Westbrook, representing the town council said, “If you defer it tonight you are basically putting it on hold for another six months, which I think is very sad.”
Wiltshire cllr, Jonathon Seed said, “I do support the concept of CCTV in Melksham, however I do have concerns that at this moment, this project might not be mature enough for us to grant something specifically.”
Cllr Seed went on to say that the project should be considered “positively” at the next area board meeting.
Echoing cllr Seed’s concerns about the project’s “maturity”, cllr Phil Alford said that he would feel “uneasy” agreeing to the grant without clear information about how it would be spent. He said, “It’s just requesting us to allocate some money into the pot with a hope that the town council will match fund it for the purchase of a technical specification that, at the moment ,we have seen no details on.”
Cllr Alford described the project as “not ready to go” and said approving the grant could affect the success of other grant applications to be considered.
At the meeting, cllr Westbrook explained that there is a need for a “much better” and “modern” CCTV system for the town, and that an improved system would help support police tackle “low level violence” in the area.
The project intends to explore covering a larger area than the town centre, and could include locations such as the skate park and King George V playing field, and the BRAG picnic area in Bowerhill.
And cllr Westbrook explained that the town council is working with Melksham Without Parish Council and local residents to move the project forward – she also asked that the area board support the project and have a representative on the committee.
All area board councillors, including cllrs Jon Hubbard, Pat Aves and Hayley Illman, who are also town councillors, voted in favour of the “formal deferral”.