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Plug pulled on Shrewsbury town centre CCTV to save £2 million

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published:

Shrewsbury's town centre's entire CCTV system could cease to operate if a new provider cannot be found.

Funding for the CCTV system and two health initiatives will be pulled in a bid to save £2 million.

Shropshire Council is making changes to a number of the non-mandatory services it provides, including Help2Slim and Help2Change.

The authority’s Health and Wellbeing Board noted the changes at a meeting in Shirehall today and endorsed the ambition to redesign and co-produce a new model of public health delivery in Shropshire.

Andy Begley, director of adult services, said: “This is an ambitious savings agenda which affects non-mandated services. We don’t have an obligation to deliver them, however, often things have been delivered for years.

“There is concern around Help2Change, in particular smoking in pregnancy. So what we’re trying to work out now is funding it for the next financial year and then how best to configure them going forward.”

The Public Health funding for the CCTV in Shrewsbury town centre will also be stopped.

Mr Begley added: “To be clear the is the end of public health contributions towards the CCTV. It is in no way a comment on the value of it. It is valued by a number of agencies who use it

“Shrewsbury Town Council, the police and other agencies will now look at how this might be resolved.”

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Staff were told by council bosses on Tuesday that there was a possibility they could be made redundant unless somebody was found to step in and fund the service.

Seb Slater, executive director at Shrewsbury BID, said: “Businesses are understandably concerned by news of the review by Shropshire Council of CCTV in Shrewsbury.

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“The CCTV provision in Shrewsbury town centre is hugely valued by the business community - not only as a tool for maintaining public safety and reducing crime but also the crucial role in plays in the wider economic and social well-being of our town.

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“Shrewsbury BID are in discussions with senior officials at Shropshire Council and are fully committed to representing the business community and working with Team Shrewsbury partners to retain this absolutely vital service for the town centre.”

The CCTV system, which has been operating for many years and has been credited with the low levels of crime, could cease from September.

Staff were told by council bosses on Tuesday that there was a possibility they could be made redundant unless somebody was found to step in and fund the service.

One employee said he was distraught at the news and at a loss as to why the decision had been reached.

"We were told we could all be made redundant as of September unless someone else steps in.

"I have worked for the council for years and have seen first hand how important this service is. It has been used many, many times in the detection of crimes, from assaults to murder. It is an invaluable tool in the fight against crime in Shrewsbury.

"I cannot understand why this is happening. It seems mad to me."

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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