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Cameras, community policing and Farsley Festival net ‘Outer West’ council cash

By John Baron

Councillors in ‘outer’ west Leeds have agreed to fund a programme to tackle speeding on roads and anti-social behaviour in communities.

Members of the council’s Outer West Community Committee approved a number of grant applications at their meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on 12 June.

West Yorkshire Police received £4,980 to address increased issues of speeding, dangerous driving, anti-social driving and anti-social behaviour by young people. Police would work with councillors to target issues such as burglars targeting elderly residents.

Cllr Simon Seary (Cons, Pudsey) praised the project and said it was a ‘really good use of money’.

And £11,000 will be spent on 11 CCTV cameras in the following public spaces:

  • Farnley and Wortley (Butterbowl and Cross Lane)
  • Farsley 
  • Lidget Hill Car Park, Pudsey
  • Pudsey (Lowtown, Lidget Hill and Chapeltown)
  • Pudsey Park.

But the award faced scrutiny from councillors.

Councillor Adrian McCluskey (Lab, Farnley & Wortley) raised concerns about value for money, citing issues over two incidents in his ward where recordings were unavailable. Cllr Simon Seary agreed there were concerns over value for money from LeedsWatch but suggested continuing with it due to the £1,000 cost of decommissioning a camera, and called for greater engagement and reporting from the team.

Cllr Peter Carlill (Lab, Calverley & Farsley) raised concerns over missing data for two cameras in Farsley and Cllr Trish Smith (Ind, Pudsey) added: “This is an annual problem. Every year I raise [that] we are not getting value for money from these cameras. I am loathe to say we do not need them, because we do – but we need proper monitoring and proper reports bringing back. We have asked for this time and again.”

There were suggestions a decision over the funding should be deferred and a LeedsWatch representatives be invited to address councillors’ concerns.

Meeting chair Cllr Mark Sewards (Lab, Farnley & Wortley) warned that if the funding was deferred for a month, the cameras would have to be switched off and incidents could be missed. “We do need far more information than we are getting from LeedsWatch,” he added.

“We want to know exactly what we are getting for our money. There are other places in our communities that are asking for security cameras, it’s understandable why – even the presence of them might be said to deter crime – but if it’s not picking anything up and it’s not being used as a tool for punishing those committing crime then we have to question its value.”

Cllr Sewards recommended approving the grant and inviting representatives from LeedsWatch to a future meeting to explain how the money is used and to raise concerns directly with them.

The motion was carried.

Farsley Festival successfully applied for £4,000 towards the annual event, which this year is being held in Hainsworth Park on Saturday, 22 June.

The Outer West Community Committee is made up of nine councillors from three wards: Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey. It is made up five Labour, three Conservative and one independent councillor. The agenda and reports can be read in full here.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Another waste of money, what is the point when a zero tolerance policy can not be implemented a fine example being all the work the council did to covert a small rural lane into a oneway system with kerbs re-done road markings one way signs that are totally ignored especially by the residents of Chapel Lane LS12 and Sunday visitors to the places of worship. There are three schools in that area, regular fly tipping at the horse field entrance and the back entrance to Farnley park and regular scrapes and bumps between poor speeding on the roads round there. A strategically placed camera with number plate recognition and Zero Tolerance to what it picks up and I and others would say good but because you do not prosecute or act on information then you are just wasting money again.

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