CCTV cameras in Flintshire could soon be monitored over the county border in Wrexham in a bid to save money.
Flintshire Council’s CCTV control room is currently located in part of County Hall in Mold which has been earmarked for demolition.
As a result, the two local authorities have been working together to explore whether the service could be provided from Wrexham’s control room based on the town’s industrial estate.
The move would save both councils a combined total of £47,000 per year, which is to be split with £28,000 going to Wrexham and £19,000
The shared service would be hosted and managed by Wrexham Council and a staff rota would be drawn up so that the two sets of cameras have two people monitoring them at all times.
In a report, a leading Wrexham councillor said the cameras were an important part of tackling crime in north east Wales.
Cllr Hugh Jones (Cons) said: “Several years ago, the six North Wales local authorities looked at the feasibility of a one or two centre control room approach for the monitoring of CCTV across the whole of North Wales.
“However, because it was not possible to agree a single scheme regionally that met the needs of all of the partners, the proposal did not proceed.
“In recent month’s officers have revisited this option.
“Flintshire Council is currently looking for an alternative location for its existing CCTV control room.
“For some time now there has been significant pressure on the council’s CCTV budget as external income has reduced.
“Therefore, this proposal provides an opportunity to share costs and increase efficiency.”
The cameras are used to respond to public requests for help when needed, and assist in gathering intelligence for North Wales Police, as well as the fire and ambulance services.
Wrexham currently has 87 cameras compared to 119 in Flintshire, with spending on CCTV standing at £381,000 and £255,000 a year respectively.
However, Wrexham Council is facing a deficit £79,000 in its budget with the majority of the money used to cover staffing costs.
Cllr Jones added: “The joining up of the two systems will generate cost savings of approximately £47,000 per annum, in terms of manning and supervision.
“A sub-regional operation such as this would not lead the same level of ‘political’ concerns regarding local knowledge that were so prevalent during the regional evaluation.
“It will enable the CCTV services in Wrexham and Flintshire to continue to operate effectively, support strategic partners and reduce the fear of crime and by helping to promote the opportunities for efficiencies through sharing service with neighbouring authorities.”
Executive board members in Wrexham will be asked to approve proceeding with the joint service at a meeting on Tuesday.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).