Council rejects CCTV idea despite garden vandalism
COUNCILLORS have rejected a suggestion to install CCTV cameras in Langport's town garden.
The Walter Bagehot Memorial Garden in the town centre has been the scene of anti-social behaviour, littering and vandalism during the summer holidays.
Last month, the Town Trust, which is made up of town councillors, rejected a recommendation from police to lock the garden.
The suggestion came after a number of incidents with people drinking there. It was also believed that something was thrown at a town hall window that had been smashed.
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And at its meeting last week the trust also rejected a suggestion from town clerk Robin Williams to install CCTV.
Mr Williams said it was an option that trust members could consider.
Town councillor Caroline Dunn said: "We don't want CCTV. I don't actually think it is much of a deterrent.
"It's not very effective unless you spend a fortune on it and even then its difficult to identify people if they're wearing a hoodie or you can't see their face."
Members also confirmed they would keep the garden unlocked after getting reassurance from its insurance company.
Mr Williams said leaving the garden unlocked will not affect the trust's cover if there was an incident it needed to claim for.
The trust agreed to "monitor the situation" and look at locking the garden as and when problems arise.
Acting chairman Julia Gadd said: "We should be more pragmatic about when we have the garden open.
"It's not just youngsters causing problems there but it does tend to be more of a problem in the summer holidays.
"I think it would be a good compromise to assess what's going on and, when problems arise, look at locking it rather than locking it all together."
Cllr Dunn agreed and said: "It seems a shame just to lock it off completely and I'm glad that we've moved on from a couple of years ago when we just locked it, as that means the whole town suffers just because of a few people."