Aberystwyth Rheidol Ward’s Liberal Democrat town councillor, Mair Benjamin, has renewed her calls for CCTV cameras in the South Road area, following protracted delays, despite assurances from public officials that they were on the way.
Assurances were given at a public meeting held at Aberystwyth Football Club last April 2022, organised by Regional Lib Dem MS Jane Dodds and Mair Benjamin, and attended by Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn and the Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police, to discuss neighbourhood fears regarding anti social behaviour.
Cllr Benjamin said: “In April 2022 the public were given assurances that we would be seeing new CCTV cameras in my ward.
“In July the Police Commissioner announced he had secured funding - Grant 4, as part of the Safer Street Initiative, for which I am sure we are all grateful.
“Then a year ago, Cambrian News readers will recall a happy trio of three Plaid Cymru politicians, Cllr Alun Williams, Ben Lake and Dafydd Llywelyn, pictured at the end of South Road welcoming the new cameras.
“Our MP stated that he ‘welcomed this important investment in the Town’.
“But where is that investment?
“Eighteen months on after the initial meeting we are still waiting for the pledge to be honoured.”
So frustrated with the delay, Mair Benjamin took the matter, last week, to the Policing Accountability Board Meeting, with both the Chief Constable and Police Commissioner present.
She added:“I had the opportunity to speak publicly and privately to the Police Commissioner, for which I am grateful.
“I reminded him the these delays are unacceptable and do not inspire public confidence.
“He has once again assured me that the cameras are on the way under a new Grant 5 funding application, and that the earlier failure was due to delays at Ceredigion County Council’s Planning Department.
“I find it unbelievable that the Police Commissioners Office and Ceredigion’s Planning Department couldn’t resolve this together. The public do demand better.”
She concluded: “CCTV does not solve anti social behaviour, but it is part of the jigsaw of measures required to make our streets safer.”
Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, said: “Unfortunately, several matters have led to the delays in completing the installation of the new CCTV cameras in Aberystwyth, including a delay from the Home Office in delivering the funding, uncertainties around the products available to the Force for purchasing, and delays in seeking permissions from Ceredigion County Council to get the planning process underway.
“I can confirm however, following several meetings with stakeholders, that the force are now able to proceed with arranging for submitting planning permission, and the intention is to complete the installation before the end of the financial year.”
A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said in response: "There has been no contact, no pre-application requests or planning applications relating to the installation of CCTV in the area."