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Council’s managing director apologises after revealing eight CCTV cameras are inactive

Grace Witherden & Will Taylor

Council’s managing director apologises after revealing eight CCTV cameras have been switched off

The managing director of the Royal Borough has apologised to councillors after staff failed to inform them that eight CCTV cameras were no longer in operation.

Alison Alexander offered her apology to Cllr Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services, and Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council, in a statement today (Thursday).

It comes after Lib Dem councillor Simon Werner (Pinkneys Green) and Cllrs Cox and Dudley debated the issue at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, January 26, leading to Cllr Dudley accusing Cllr Werner of presenting ‘alternative facts’.

The Lib Dem councillor had told the Advertiser last week it was a ‘done deal’ that 30 cameras would be scrapped as part of a review into the Borough’s CCTV network.

Cllr Cox told cabinet members that no CCTV cameras had been switched off.

But this week Cllr Werner produced an email which is understood to be from the CCTV control room which lists a number of cameras that have been switched off since December.

Maidenhead cameras listed in the email include Shifford Crescent, Bray car park, Wessex Way, Grenfell Park and Riverside car park.

Cllr Werner says he is now waiting for an apology from the leader of the council.

In Ms Alexander’s statement, she said: “Cllr Cox was absolutely accurate when he told Cabinet last week that no cameras had been switched off as he had not been informed by officers that the digital connections had expired.

“As managing director I take responsibility that there has been a failure to inform the lead member and I can only apologise that he was put in the position of not having the correct information and being able to inform his Cabinet colleagues, including the leader.

“This information was known to officers in the middle of December and they failed to inform members.

“There are eight cameras where the digital connection has expired and Cllr Cox and the leader have asked for them to be immediately reinstated as part of the ongoing review.”

During the cabinet meeting, councillors discussed a report which said 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’.

During the meeting, Cllr Dudley responded to Cllr Werner’s comments in the Advertiser, saying: “Do you know what they call that? Alternative facts.”

Cllr Cox 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.”

Earlier in the week, before the statement was released, Cllr Werner had said: “Cllr Dudley has acted disgracefully, and attacks me when I’m not in the meeting to defend myself.

“This proof shows it is a done deal, if they’ve already begun the process of switching them off.

“The review is not really a review is it?”

The Advertiser contacted the Royal Borough asking it to confirm if the cameras have been switched off.

A spokesman said: “No camera locations have been removed.

“We are currently undertaking some maintenance and upgrade works on our camera network.

“A detailed technological review is to be undertaken of the council’s entire CCTV network as discussed at cabinet last week.”

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