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Bridgnorth's CCTV operators left in limbo as redundancy consultation deadline passes with no answers

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Crime | Published:

CCTV 'guardian angels' who help protect Bridgnorth have been left in limbo as a redundancy consultation that ended nearly two weeks ago is yet to provide answers.

The three operators that currently monitor the town's high quality surveillance cameras were told in December they could be made redundant due to a lack of funding, and a 30-day consultation to decide their future would end on January 12.

But they say they are 'yet to hear a word' about whether they will lose their jobs.

Pam Becke, who has been the eyes and ears of the town for years and was awarded an MBE for 40 years' service to the police, said there were growing concerns among the community.

"They can't keep us hanging on forever," she said. "I know these things can take time but we were told a consultation would end on January 12 and we are yet to hear a word."

Bridgnorth Town Council confirmed a meeting on Tuesday had 'noted' the matter but said there was no current time scale for further developments regarding CCTV.

A notice of possible redundancy sent to the operators by the council said the organisation has seen its costs 'rise significantly' and that during a recent visit to Bridgnorth by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, he indicated that an unmonitored service would be acceptable.

The letter stated: "The Police and Crime Commissioner was of the opinion that he could not justify financing the wages of staff to monitor CCTV and commented that it was not necessarily an effective use of his money. He further mentioned that an unmonitored service was adequate."

CCTV has been a contentious issue in the town for years, with the council previously reviewing whether it should still foot the bill for staff wages in 2017.

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Mrs Becke added: "I do this job out of the willingness to help and between the three of us, we just want to know either way.

"I often get stopped in the street by traders who tell me their concerns and I know businesses are keen to keep the CCTV monitored."

Bridgnorth Town Council was contacted for comment.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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