By Russell Butt December 03, 2012 and reblogged from Get Surrey
“EYESORE” giant CCTV masts originally installed solely for the duration of the Olympics will remain in place on a one-year trial basis.
However, following some debate, it was agreed instead to re-address the situation in a year’s time, following strong opposition to the masts by campaigners.
The decision has been hailed as a “qualified success” by the Runnymede branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which has been strongly opposed to keeping the masts.
Chairman of Runnymede CPRE, Andrew Telford, said the result gave campaigners a year to plan their fight for the permanent removal of the five masts.
He added: “We are delighted that the committee followed the lead of Englefield Green and Egham councillors and resolved to review this matter in a year’s time.
“These camera poles blight the green belt, listed buildings and Runnymede common, and we will continue to campaign, along with other local groups, for their removal.”
The five cameras were funded by the Home Office as part of the Olympic Safety and Security Programme, but Surrey Police submitted a business case at the time stating that the cameras would help with intelligence gathering, crime detection and public reassurance, act as a visible deterrent and provide early notification of issues affecting the Olympic Village, which was located at Royal Holloway, University of London, plus the Olympic Route Network.
At the council meeting, Egham Town councillor Alan Alderson spoke robustly against retaining the masts, backed by Englefield Green member Hugh Meares, who proposed a new motion that the cameras be reviewed after a one-year period.
A named vote ended in favour of amending the motion, then a second named vote to carry the new motion was passed by a majority vote with only Addlestone Bourneside councillor, Peter Waddell, voting against.
Chairman of the corporate management committee, Cllr Patrick Roberts, said: “We recognise the public’s concerns about the height of these cameras, but they have already proved valuable in terms of combating crime and disorder and monitoring traffic along these very busy roads.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback from Surrey Police, Royal Holloway, University of London and Surrey County Council’s traffic management team on the benefits of these cameras, and feel it appropriate to allow a further period to monitor their value and also see whether there are any low-cost technical solutions that can be found to make the poles more discrete.”