Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Camberwell Commmunity Council Meets in Lambeth and the death of the Talking CCTV for £85,000!!!

Last night I attended a really useful joint meeting of Camberwell Community Council and Lambeth Camberwell Councillors with Lambeth Leader Steve Reed and Southwark Leader Nick Stanton guest speakers.
It was another first as it was the first Southwark Community Council Meeting to
be held in Lambeth!
We were shown a really helpful vox-pop video highlighting cross-border problems of community safety, street drinking, planning, traffic and transport and street cleansing and we had an open discussion following.
Steve Reed spoke first and committed to closer working with Southwark on Cross-border issues and suggested a task group of councillors from both Boroughs to work on arrangement and protocols and to bring their findings back to another joint meeting, and Nick Stanton told the meeting that if you live in a border area you must expect these problems and have to live with them...eh and then he left!!! good to see long time colleagues from Lambeth, Steve Reed, Jim Gibson and Kirsty McHugh and look forward to working with them positively in the future, despite the Southwark leadership and probably not with their support!!
My Press release on the Talking CCTV Fiasco:

Lib Dem's £85,000 Talking CCTV Blunder!!

Lib Dem/Tory-run Southwark Council will spend £24,000 removing talking CCTV cameras under eighteen months after they were installed, having never been switched on. The cameras, which were designed to offer residents a direct line to a camera operative in an emergency, cost £61,000 to install, bringing the total cost of the pointless blunder to an eye-watering £85,000.

Lib Dem Community Safety Executive Members had made repeated promises to get the cameras online since their originally planned switch-on date in April 2008, but the "emergency help points" are now rusting having never been brought into use.

Southwark Labour's community safety spokesman Cllr John Friary said:

"After spending £50,000 on just fifty bikes for community wardens, wasting £85,000 on talking CCTV which has never even been turned on is another indictment of the Lib Dem's crime fighting priorities. The Lib Dems were quick to press release these new cameras, but not so quick to get them working or make the real changes to make the community safer.

The Lib Dem/Tory executive has basically paid contractors to dig a hole in the ground and fill it in again. These cameras could have made a real difference to a resident in an emergency. It's outrageous that they were never turned on, but bordering on the farcical that they've cost the council tax payer tens of thousands of pounds."