Green light for CCTV upgrade plan

AN UPGRADED CCTV system is set to be rolled out across Hastings at a cost of £360,000.

Councillors unaminously agreed to back plans for the overhaul which will see new cameras across the town and the monitoring suite transferred from the underground site at Carlisle Parade to the council’s contact centre.

Members of the cabinet were told on Tuesday how the current system of 67 cameras in car parks and pedestrian areas had dramatically reduced crime. These are controlled by the control room staff.

There are eight cameras to monitor council offices and 29 distributed in the town centre sea front and other locations like Malvern Way.

The county council’s decision to contract out its parking services last year led to a reduction in funding. This meant Hastings Borough Council could no longer afford 24 hour monitoring.

A report to the committee by director of regeneration Simon Hubbard stated the council currently has “an old fashioned analogue operating platform.”

The review recognised that the existing equipment had become very old and in some cases impossible to repair. The on-street cameras were ageing and spare parts were more difficult to get hold of.

Councillors decided to relocate to the CCTV monitoring station to the Town Hall. The cost of a fully digital system with all new cameras and monitoring equipment will be £360,000.

HBC will provide £250,000 with £50,000 coming from the county council. A further £20,000 has been set aside from a building agreement with Sussex Coast

College. Sussex Police will proived £15,000. The council is expected to foot the rest of the bill.

The changes will lead to one member of staff having their working hours reduced.

Head of marketing and communication, Kevin Boorman, will set up a project group to plan and implement the transfer over the summer.

Cabinet chairman Jeremy Birch said: “We are committed to the safety of our towns.

“We have to recognise that the ending of the parking arrangement with ESCC has taken away the full time monitoring.

“The arrangment we are making are entirely appropriate.”

Cllr Phil Scott added: “This will be fit for purpose. It will give public reassurance.”