SOUTH Lakeland is expected to get a state-of-the art new CCTV cameras - but so far Kendal is the only town in the district pencilled in to get them.
The new £1 million initiative by Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner aims to see 54 cameras installed around the county to provide a ‘basic’ CCTV provision across Cumbria.
They would all be monitored by Cumbria Police at force headquarters in Penrith.
At the moment, South Lakeland District Council currently supports CCTV in Kendal and Ulverston.
It has 11 cameras in Kendal which it leases and nine in Ulverston which it owns.
But under the new plan, Kendal would get seven new cameras - expected to last seven years - at a total cost of £129,000.
There are no plans under the Commissioner scheme to equip Ulverston.
SLDC’s high-ranking Lib Dem Cabinet meets on Wednesday to discuss the proposal put forward by Richard Rhodes, the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria.
His recommendations follow advice from consultants hired by Cumbria Police, says a council report.
Papers before councillors read: “The Constabulary’s professional view is that cameras are not required in UIverston, however members (councillors) may wish to consider purchasing cameras to be included within the county-wide scheme.”
Councillors could spend £35,000 from a special budget to provide Ulverston with two cameras, but any decision is likely to be made at the meeting on Wednesday February 12.
Council officers have warned that the Ulverston community might be ‘unhappy about the loss of CCTV provision’ which could lead to criticism of the authority.
But it argues that the idea is ‘based on Cumbria Constabulary’s professional view’.
However, it is being recommended for councillors to agree that two cameras are bought for Ulverston.
Writing to SLDC about the issue, Stuart Edwards, the chief executive at the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office in Penrith, said: “The proposal is for 54 cameras countywide, and has been developed by specialist consultants engaged by Cumbria Constabulary.
“The Constabulary’s professional view is that the proposed number of cameras and the locations of those cameras meet the basic requirements for CCTV provision in Cumbria.
“Under the proposal, the South Lakeland District Council area would have seven cameras, all based in Kendal.”
If SLDC’s Cabinet chooses to buy more cameras, the authority would have to pay 100 per cent of the costs.
The contract for the CCTV equipment in Kendal - monitored and housed at the Westmorland Shopping Centre - has apparently expired, says the report to councillors.
Under the countywide scheme, the Police and Crime Commissioner will use his budget to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the Kendal cameras and SLDC will chip in £64,815 from a grant it receives from the Commissioner towards tackling anti-social behaviour.
The Police and Crime Commissioner hopes to have the final scheme agreed before its executive board later this month.