MOVES to make Penzance a CCTV-free zone could be reversed after calls from some town councillors to reverse a decision to end funding.
At last month’s town council meeting a recommendation was made that it should no longer pay the West Cornwall CCTV Group (WCCG) thousands of pounds a year to monitor the cameras.
However, some members unhappy with the ruling have lodged a formal motion for the contentious issue to be looked at in more detail.
“If a decision is made by council, that will normally stand for six months,” said mayor Phil Rendle.
“The only way it can be reversed is if at least five members ask that the decision be annulled, and that has been done.”
Mr Rendle said he couldn’t recall such a situation since he had joined the council.
“Hopefully more evidence will be put forward about the decision to stop the funding, and then it’s in the hands of the council,” he said.
There has been much debate since The Cornishman reported that refusal to fund the WCCG would pull the plug on camera monitoring.
One of those happy the issue is back on the council agenda is Rob Matthews, a partner in Penzance nightclub Sound, who said CCTV was vital for a safe night-time economy.
“I was gobsmacked when I heard the cameras wouldn’t be funded any more,” he said.
“It’s something that shouldn’t even be up for debate. We’ve cleaned out all the trouble and riff-raff, but without CCTV it would be open season for criminals.”
Mr Matthews added that the cameras were even more important than ever after it was revealed a Street Pastor service could be brought to Penzance, with Christians offering practical support to people leaving pubs and clubs.
“I wouldn’t advise any Street Pastors to take up the role without the backing of CCTV to cover their backs and for their safety,” he said.
Mr Matthews said he paid to be part of a national database filming the area around the club and police often asked to view his CCTV footage when investigating incidents.
A recorded vote at last month’s full town council meeting saw eight councillors choosing not to provide the £10,000 needed if Penzance was to stay in the WCCG, with five members against.
Fresh talks on CCTV funding will be taking place at a meeting of Penzance Town Council on Monday, July 16.
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