NEARLY £45,000 has been set aside for Huntingdon’s CCTV network but town councillors shied away from signing a three-year funding agreement which would secure the future of the town centre cameras.

Members of Huntingdon Town Council's finance committee have approved the allocation of £44,800 towards the running costs of the network in Huntingdon. The money will cover half of the running costs for 28 of the 37 cameras for one year. Nine of the cameras are based at HDC car parks and so are not included on the list.

Currently Huntingdonshire District Council foots the bill for the entire network, but it is asking for contributions from other organisations to cover next year's costs.

The Huntingdon cameras cost £272,000 to run for a year, the largest cost being for staff and line rental.

Committee chairman Councillor John Skerry, who visited the CCTV control room at Eastfield House recently, said: “They are looking at other areas of funding such as HBAC (Huntingdon Business Against Crime) and Huntingdon Town Partnership. Should we agree to fund it we would have some input into the management of CCTV. If we don't fund them, they have a list of cameras that they will switch off.”

St Neots Town Council has allocated £22,750 for CCTV – enough to cover half of the running costs for the town's 13 cameras.

l ST IVES Town Council has agreed in principle to contribute £27,000 towards the costs of the 17 cameras in the town, though negotiations have not been finalised with HDC as the arrangements are dependent upon other town councils finalising similar provision.