Kelso council’s £5,000 may help buy cameras

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MOVES are under way to decide if £5,000 in a community council bank account can be used to install a new town centre security camera in Kelso, writes Mark Entwistle.

The issue of the unspent cash and the cameras came up at the annual general meeting of the town’s Community Council.

Going through the year’s accounts, mention was made of the £5,000 left over after the town’s security camera scheme had been paid for.

The cash had been raised by late councillors Bob Jack and David Lindores, and there was some discussion about whether it could be used for purposes other than the orginal one.

No more was then said, but when the topic of security cameras came up, it was suggested the £5,000 could be used in connection with this issue.

Giving her monthly police report, PC Alex Warmington told the meeting: “Quite a few of the cameras in Kelso are broken – I think it is about five. We are struggling to get those fixed. They have been reported several times and spare parts have been ordered.”

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) member Tom Weatherston wondered if it would be possible to get a new camera installed which could cover the park-keeper’s lodge in the Shedden Park.

“A lot of money has recently been spent on the park-keeper’s lodge. I am worried this could be vandalised. I would hate to see it wrecked again. Even a basic camera pointing in the direction of the park and plugged in at the Tait Hall would do,” said Mr Weatherston.

Community council vice-chairman John Bassett commented that if five cameras were not working, the money could be doing some good.

“Surely that is better than this money just lying and doing nothing,” he said.

Councillor Harry Tomczyk said the first thing to be done was to establish who was responsible for upkeep of the cameras. PC Warmington said she would look into this.

SBC member Alec Nichol said if a camera could be installed on the end of the Tait Hall and fed into a video store in the hall, it would not be as expensive as having someone sit in the police station watching a live camera feed.

He also suggested that if a camera was installed on the hall, running costs might be shared between the police and SBC.

The community council agreed that secretary George Young will liase with the local police over the issues of security cameras to see what is needed and where.

An SBC spokesperson told TheSouthern that the local authority believed Lothian and Borders Police was probably responsible for the repair and maintenance of the town’s security cameras.