Safety to remain in focus in Bognor until 2015

CCTV cameras in Bognor Regis will stay switched on for the next three years.

The good news was confirmed at a meeting of Arun District Council’s cabinet on Monday. Members agreed to sign a new contract with Sussex Police to fund the cameras until 2015.

Paul Wotherspoon, in charge of Arun’s cabinet community safety work, said: “This is very much a good news item. Back in 2009 the turning off of CCTV cameras was not a popular idea and I am very pleased an agreement has been reached to ensure the cameras stayed on.

“Chichester turned off some 20 per cent of their CCTV cameras in April, but I am glad we have been able to find some extra money to keep them on.”

Gillian Brown, the council’s leader, thanked Bognor Regis and Littlehampton town councils and Rustington Parish Council for their support.

She said: “It is excellent news this agreement with all parties has been reached. In the future, if the town councils could look seriously at upping their contribution to the 50 per cent mark we would like them to.”

The presence of the cameras was rated by Bognor traders in a recent survey as extremely important.

The 12 cameras in Bognor are among the 19 for which Arun is responsible. They are expected to cost some £21,500 to run.

To ensure the crime-busting equipment in the town centre and along the seafront continues, Bognor Regis Town Council agreed to double their contribution from £2,000 to £4,000.

Littlehampton Town Council will pay £2,600 with Rustington Parish Council adding another £600. Arun will fund the other £14,300.

The nine cameras around Bognor came into use in September 1998. Three more extended the coverage into Felpham the next August.

But Bognor town centre has suffered a setback with the rejection of its bid for funding as a Portas Pilot.

It was omitted from the initial 12 areas to benefit from a £1m fund and advice from expert Mary Portas revealed by the government last weekend. A further chance will come with a second round of bidding on June 30.

Cllr Mrs Brown pledged Arun would continue its work with other councils to improve London Road and High Street.

Chamber of commerce leader Nick Stuart-Nicolson said: “The rejection is a shame. High streets are going to evolve in the age of internet shopping and we have to as well.”