REPRESENTATIVES from three of Huntingdonshire’s four town councils will meet this week to discuss how to proceed with a request to fund CCTV across the district – or see it turned off.

REPRESENTATIVES from three of Huntingdonshire’s four town councils will meet this week to discuss how to proceed with a request to fund CCTV across the district – or see it turned off.

Huntingdonshire District Council, to cover a significant decrease in its budgets, has asked that the market towns and Cambridgeshire police cover the costs of the service from April 2012.

The meeting, scheduled for Friday morning (September 9), will be attended by the town clerks from St Ives, St Neots and Huntingdon - and possibly Ramsey - and will look at whether it is possible for the councils to contribute any funding to the £300,000 scheme, and if so, how much.

While the town councils are prepared to talk about funding possibilities, Cambridgeshire police, which uses the CCTV system the most but is dealing with its own budget cuts, has refused to consider offering financial help.

HDC, which in the past has fully funded the district’s 93-camera network, was considering mothballing CCTV to save costs. While this remains a possibility, it is optimistic that money from the town councils, police and a new partnership with another local authority – Peterborough City Council – could allow the system to remain operational.

HDC’s executive leader Councillor Jason Ablewhite told The Hunts Post: “We hope the forum will deliver some partnership working with town councils, and are still hopeful the police will consider making a contribution.”

He added: “Talks with Peterborough are ongoing and we are very hopeful in terms of a positive contribution from them.”

Last year the county’s police force used the district’s CCTV 800 times and cameras monitored almost 2,300 offences. Despite this, Chief Constable Simon Parr maintains that the police are in no position to make financial contributions to the running of CCTV due to budget cuts of their own.

HDC has so far received two petitions on the subject of CCTV, one from St Ives and another from Huntingdon, both requesting an increase in coverage.

One petition (signed by 41 people) was for a camera to be reinstated in Ingram Street car park, Huntingdon, and another (signed by 42) from St Ives councillor John Davies, wants HDC to provide a camera to cover the “Chub stream and surrounding area” – an area near the Priory part of the town.