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COMMUNITIES, HOUSING & ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

19 April 2019

 

CCTV Next Steps

 

Final Decision-Maker

Communities, Housing & Environment Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Director of Regeneration & Place

Lead Officer and Report Author

John Littlemore

Head of Housing & Community Services

Classification

Public

 

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

 

This report provides the Committee with progress and next steps towards modernising the public realm CCTV service.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to the Communities, Housing & Environment Committee

That:

1.   The public realm CCTV cameras be upgraded.

2.   The CCTV recording equipment be relocated from the Town Hall to Maidstone House.

3.   Policy and Resources Committee be recommended to identify £110,000 to enable the upgrade and relocation of CCTV.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Communities, Housing and the Environment Committee

16 April 2019

Policy & Resources Committee

26 June 2019



CCTV Next Steps

 

 

1.      INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

1.1     The CHE Committee has previously considered the future of the Council’s public realm CCTV and how this could be provided within the budget agreed under the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).

 

1.2     A tendering exercise was conducted in 2018 to ascertain whether a monitored service could be delivered within the budgetary constraints. The outcome of the tendering exercise confirmed that, even on reduced hours, a viable monitoring service was not financially viable. Despite reaching out to key stakeholders at the time, no offers to assist with the cost of providing a monitored service were received.

 

1.3     At the same time, it was recognised that the age of the cameras and recording equipment currently in use has a limited lifespan. Having the equipment in place at the Town Hall is no longer desirable; and as a result of the flooding in 2017, the equipment at the Town Hall is degrading and will requires imminent replacement.

 

1.4     It is proposed to replace the current cameras with modern high-definition cameras that are Wi-Fi enabled. The new recording equipment will be similarly upgraded and able to receive the camera data via Wi-Fi back to the Council’s IT suite, where it can be downloaded when captured evidence is required. This new system will be more cost effective and provide a much better quality of recording. The Council will be able to provide access to the recordings to its own officers and to specific partners on a case-by-case basis (such as Kent Police investigating an incident) via a secure cloud network.

 

1.5     The cost efficiency is achieved through not having the associated costs involved in monitoring the cameras, significant savings on the cost of Wi-Fi transmission as opposed to renting cables, and the costs associated with the location at the Town Hall e.g. maintaining an emergency backup power supply and air-conditioning for the equipment. This will enable the Council to meet the budget ambition in the MTFS of £118,000 per annum.

 

1.6     The technical specification for the new system will be such that it does not exclude an external organisation from providing a monitored service in the future. This future proofs the system so as not to limit the Council’s options in the future should the budgetary position change due to external contributions; or an organisation puts forward a viable proposition that meets the MFTS. Access will be strictly governed through an agreement with the Council. Discussion is currently in progress led by the One Maidstone BID to explore possibilities around this option.    

 

1.7     The Council has engaged the services of a specialist consultant to provide the necessary expertise around the best solution and equipment to enable the Council’s ambition for a future-proof service. The cost to upgrade the system is estimated as £110,000. This includes replacing the existing cameras with HD, Wi-Fi enabled cameras; the placement of Wi-Fi nodes to enable transmission back to Maidstone House; and replacement equipment to download the data recorded. 

 

1.8     The current and future revenue costs are set out in the table below. The variance includes savings in the MTFS that have not yet been achieved and the loss of income that cannot be covered, as the majority of those contracts no longer exist:

 

Year

CCTV Budget

Actual/Estimated

Variance

2018/19

£198,000

£269,765

- £71,765

2019/20

£273,000

£269,765

+ £3,235

2020/21

£118,000

£90,000

+ £28,000

2021/22

£118,000

£90,000

+ £28,000

2022/23

£118,000

£90,000

+ £28,000

2023/24

£118,000

£90,000

+ £28,000

 

 

1.9     Annual savings will be achieved through the removal of costs associated with the monitored service and the annual rental costs associated with the cabling, which is in excess of £40,000 per annum. From 2020 onwards, the investment to bring the system up to date can be recovered over the period of the next MTFS on a ‘spend to save’ basis.

 

 

 

2.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

2.1     The Council could choose to do nothing but this is not recommended, as the equipment requires replacing, the present arrangement is not fully funded and does not represent good value for money.

 

2.2     The Committee could choose to upgrade the equipment and move this from the Town Hall location at an estimated cost of £110,000, as this provides for a more efficient delivery model that is compliant with the MTFS; and delivers a modern methodology of recording that will provide recordings of better evidential value.

 

 

 

3.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     The preferred option is to invest £110,000 to provide an upgraded system as set out in the body of the report and in 2.2 above.

 

 

 

4.       RISK

4.1    The decision concerning the provision of public-realm CCTV by Maidstone Borough Council was previously debated and concluded by this Committee. This risk analysis is therefore limited to the recommendation in the report. The project to move the current aging CCTV equipment from its current location to a new setting is considered to have a relatively low risk of failure and likelihood. To further mitigate against failure the project will be led by the MKIP IT Team with the support of a specialist CCTV consultant.

 

 

5.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

5.1     Key stakeholders have been identified as the local Police and businesses represented by One Maidstone BID. These organisations will be kept informed of progress with the delivery of the new public-realm CCTV service.

 

 

6.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.

Head of Housing & Community Services

Risk Management

Already covered in the risk section

Head of Housing & Community Services

Financial

The proposals set out in the recommendation allow revenue savings to be made in the cost of running CCTV. Accepting the recommendations will demand new capital expenditure of £110,000.  This is subject to approval by Policy and Resources Committee.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing. Currently no staff are directly employed in the provision of the service and there are no TUPE implications resulting from the change.

 

Head of Housing & Community Services

Legal

The Council is not under a statutory duty to provide a public-realm CCTV service but does so in the exercise of its powers under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

 

Legal Team

Privacy and Data Protection

Accepting the recommendations will not increase the volume of data held by the Council.  We will hold that data in line with the Council’s CCTV policy. The Wi-Fi system adopted will need to comply with the Council’s requirements for handling sensitive data securely.

 

Legal Team

Equalities

The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment

Head of Housing & Community Services

Public Health

We recognise that the recommendations will not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.

 

Head of Housing & Community Services

Crime and Disorder

There is no evidence to suggest that the recommendation will have a negative impact on the Council’s duties around Crime and Disorder.

Head of Housing & Community Services

Procurement

On accepting the recommendations, the Council will follow an exercise to purchase the necessary equipment.  We will complete those exercises in line with financial procedure rules.

 

Head of Service & Section 151 Officer

 

 

 

7.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

Reports to the Communities, Housing & Environment Committee

“Provision of Replacement CCTV System” 17th July 2018

“Public Realm CCTV Service Update” 17th April 2018

“Decommissioning Part of the Public Realm CCTV Service” 14th November 2017

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