Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce

OCTOBER 2012

MDCTCOn Monday 22nd October, the Finance & Policy Committee of Monmouth Town Council decided not to recommend the reinstatement of CCTV to the Full Town Council. Instead, they voted on a proposal that asks for more time to gather even more information.

The CCTV Working Group (the third to be formed since 2008) once again consulted with representatives from the other 3 Monmouthshire Towns that remain in the County Council CCTV Partnership (Abergavenny, Caldicot & Chepstow), Gwent Police, Monmouthshire County Council, the SRS Control Centre and Chamber of Commerce.

MDCTC - CCTVOnce again, all 3 towns in the CCTV Partnership reported that, despite some minor issues with the County Council, they remain committed to the Partnership. Moreover, Town Councillors in all 3 towns reported that  CCTV had a positive effect in reducing crime in their towns. Gwent Police and the County Council confirmed that they would welcome the return of Monmouth to the CCTV Partnership.

The Chamber of Commerce has entered into dialogue once again with the Town Council. We are proposing that both organisations work in partnership with businesses and residents to address the issues, namely the widespread anti-social behaviour in the town, with vandalism, public disorder and damage to property a regular occurrence at weekends.

The Chamber maintains that the provision of CCTV in Monmouth is an absolute necessity. Stalling for further time is completely unacceptable when Community Safety is at stake. The lack of CCTV in Monmouth will mean that anti-social behaviour will continue to go unchecked late at night and at weekends; criminals will target the town because we are a “soft target” and residents will continue to feel intimidated in their own homes. We will continue to do all that we can to bring pressure to bear on the Town Council to see sense and rejoin the CCTV Partnership.

Brian Ramsey, Chairman, Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce

CCTV - News Update August 2010....

Possible progress on the reinstatement of CCTV in Monmouth?

David Cummings Chairman of Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce commented:

" Our Treasurer, Ian Cooling  and I were very pleased to be invited to meet with Monmouth Town Council CCTV Working Group at the Shire Hall on 4th August. In the past certain Town Councillors have maintained that CCTV was only there for the benefit of town businesses. This argument was not put to us at the meeting.

We listened to a very detailed argument from  the Working Group on the history and current position of Monmouth Town Council and welcomed hearing the words "The Town Council are not in principle against the reinstatement of CCTV "

The major obstacle as far as the CCTV Working Group is concerned seems to be the lack of a Service Level Agreement between the Town Council ,  the County Council and the police to define the operation, monitoring and objectives of  a CCTV system . This should include safeguards for the Town Council for any costs incurred  in excess of the normal annual contribution made e.g. the ownership of any mobile cameras purchased.

We understand that in May 2009 the Town Councils of Abergavenny, Chepstow and Caldicot signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  on the current system . Monmouth Town Council CCTV working group feel that only a Service Level Agreement with terms to which they can agree, can be passed by the full Town Council. There are therefore a number of options on how documentation can be progressed,  including the possibility of Monmouth Town Council signing an MOU in order to rejoin the decision making process of the county wide CCTV system,  followed later by a Service Level Agreement.

Ian and I came away from the meeting feeling that there was a far greater possibility of progress on this issue than at the public meeting in February 2009 , with some movement possible , perhaps as early as September . In order to show the Chamber ‘s continued support for the reinstatement of CCTV in Monmouth,  we offered a token one off payment in support,  if the current momentum shown by the Town Council could be maintained and once Monmouth Town Council had agreed in writing to CCTV's reinstatement"

CCTV - News Update....

TOWN COUNCIL SAYS NO TO FUNDING.

CHAMBER SAYS LET'S LOOK FOR OPTIONS TO FUND.

At the meeting of the full Town Council on 22nd November 2010 councillors voted on the basis of the Town Council CCTV Working Group report recommendation not to fund CCTV now or in the future.

The first point to consider is that the opinions stated are made by the MTC CCTV working group from their situation outside the MCC CCTV Partnership. Opinions expressed by Abergavenny, Caldicot and Chepstow Town Councils come from within the CCTV partnership based on close knowledge of the system and they are very happy with their agreements and the system's operation and effectiveness.

There is an implication in the report that the contribution made by Monmouth Town Council would be costly. The yearly cost of being part of the MCC CCTV system is £12500, with a one off reconnection charge of £6880 from BT. On the basis that Monmouth Town Council's precept demand for 2011/12 will be,£141, 300, then £12,500 would represent an 8.8% increase in the application , but our town's budget with CCTV included would likely still be well below that of other towns in the county.

On each resident's council tax summary for this year they will see an amount (Precept) that supports the activities of Monmouth Town Council. The average total council tax bill for this current year for 4800 households in town is £1300. Funding CCTV in the first year would equate to an increase in the yearly council tax bill of just £4 and in subsequent years a lower figure of just £2.60 Too small in a newspaper comment to show as a percentage, but less (£2.60) than the price of a 1lb block of cheese, or a pint of beer.

"The Chamber is a respected, credible and important influence on the town". These are the words of a councillor at a meeting this the summer- not mine! As such, it would be wrong of us to abandon the interests of 1037 residents who signed a petition for CCTV's reinstatement, as well as the unanimous support of Chamber members. We would politely request the County Council not to remove the cameras, whilst we formulate alternative options for funding. Unlike the Town Council, we and the thousand plus Monmouth residents who support CCTV consider spending £2.60 per year per household of (after all) our money for CCTV, a cost worth paying".

David Cummings, Chairman

Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce

CCTV - News Update July 2010....

We are very pleased to inform the public that the Town Council CCTV Working Group has finally been reformed. You will remember that in the Town Council’s letter to the Chamber of August 2009 on the subject,  that they stated that it was their intention to reform the group.

We also welcome being invited on 4th August to meet the new CCTV Working Group to discuss with them the current feelings of our members on the issue of CCTV.

 

David Cummings, Chairman

Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce

CCTV - News Update June 2010....

 
CCTV Leaflet

CCTV - News Update April 2010....

CCTV April 2010