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Royal Borough leader accuses opposition councillor of using 'alternative facts' in CCTV row

David Lee

Royal Borough leader accuses opposition councillor of using 'alternative facts' in CCTV row

Simon Dudley and Simon Werner

The council leader has accused an opposition councillor of using ‘alternative facts’ about the borough’s plans to review the operation of 30 CCTV cameras in the area.

Cllr Simon Werner (Lib Dems, Pinkneys Green) told the Advertiser he believed it was a ‘done deal’ that 30 cameras around would be scrapped by the council as part of a review into its CCTV network.

During a meeting of the borough’s Crime and Disorder Overview and Scrutiny panel on Monday, councillors discussed a report which stated that 121 static public space cameras and 110 car park cameras, which were first installed in 1996, are now at the end of their ‘serviceable life’.

Reacting to Cllr Werner’s comments, council leader Simon Dudley told cabinet last night: “Do you know what they call that? Alternative facts.”

Kellyanne Conway, adviser to US President Donald Trump, coined the Orwellian phrase during a dispute over the global media’s coverage of the attendance at his inauguration.

Cllr Carwyn Cox, (Con, Hurley and Walthams) added: “When Cllr Werner says he believes the loss of the cameras is already a done deal, it’s not.

“It’s not what we are recommending.

“We are looking at what we’ve got and what technology is available and how to do things differently.”

Cabinet agreed to carry out a review of the CCTV network which will be reported back in August.

The council’s cabinet also faced questions during a meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall about its £9.96 million parking overhaul which includes proposals to build temporary parking decks in Braywick Park and Stafferton Way.

Patrick Griffin, chairman of the Society of the Protection of Ascot and Environs (SPAE) told cabinet the plan was too focused on Windsor and Maidenhead.

But Cllr Cox said the paper was focused on Maidenhead due to the ‘immediate pressing need’ for parking as the town’s regeneration project gathers pace.

Cabinet agreed to carry out feasibility assessments of eight proposed parking sites and the plans will be brought back to full council in June.

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