Updated 20:10 Saturday 2nd July 1999
The town's CCTV system is now operational after months of delay.
Most of the nine cameras are in place but some have still to be erected. Planning permission has only recently been applied for a camera at the junction of Fore Street and South Street; and Maidenhead Street is still lacking an observation point.
The scheme has been partly financed by a government grant of £67,000, awarded in March 1997. A request for £42,000 from East Herts Council was turned down however, principally by Conservative councillors who claimed that they were unconvinced about the benefits of the system. Nevertheless, local businesses were prepared to contribute £3,500 and the Town Council made up the difference.
| Key Facts
Ø 9 cameras
Ø Cost £149,000
Ø Control centre in Stevenage
At a recent meeting of councillors, traders and the police, The mayor of Hertford, Jane Page, said "We've had one or two high profile robberies at night that would have been caught on camera".
Local cable company NTL are providing free cabling work to link the cameras to a control room in Stevenage.
District Council Unsupportive
On refusing financial help, District Councillor Hedley Banks (Con, Thundridge) said "We're fairly short of resources and we must be fair to all three towns. We can't start doing things for Hertford and not for Ware and Bishop's Stortford". It was Cllr Hedley Banks who defended last year's hike in Hertford's car parking charges despite protests from the Town Council, traders, and a petition signed by local residents. Richard Ovenden (Lab, Hertford Bengeo) commented "I am disappointed that the Conservative members do not see the value of such a system - they can only see the cost. It's typical considering that this year they've already hit the town hard by raising car parking charges, that they're unprepared to put money back into the town."
However, local cable company CableTel offered £28,000 to carry out the necessary cabling to a control centre in Stevenage.