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Newsletter - Fri 6 Oct, 2023

In this issue...

- It's been confirmed that there are now no working public CCTV cameras in Redhill town centre, in line with the borough council's decision in 2020 to remove CCTV from all town centres. However, cameras in key parks and car parks have been upgraded.

- The Harlequin Arts Takeover, Saturday 7 to Friday 13 October, is still happening, just not at the Harlequin which is closed thanks to the discovery of RAAC. The week (Opens in a new window) will offer the chance to take part in a range of art forms. Most events are taking place at the Belfry shopping centre.


- "Excellent" CCTV at a Reigate address caught a burglar in the act in July, leading to a prison term of 3-and-a-half-years. Local officers were able to use the CCTV to identify the offender. More from the police here (Opens in a new window).

- Surrey County Council is again appealing for more foster carers. "Nearly half of Surrey’s looked after children are currently living outside of county, far away from friends, family, and schools and this is why we need more foster carers," the authority says. 80 councils have jointly funded a film to raise awareness of fostering. More here (Opens in a new window).

- The Reigate Repair Cafe (Opens in a new window) is running tomorrow, Saturday 7 October, 11am - 2pm at the Yard at Reigate Station.

- Families have been having to dig into their own savings to fund educational psychologist assessments as part of the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process because of two-year-waits from Surrey County Council. More here (Opens in a new window) including on the county's plans to improve the situation.

No council CCTV cameras in Redhill town centre, in line with plans

It's been confirmed that the borough council now has no working CCTV cameras operating in Redhill town centre, in line with its earlier decision to switch off cameras in all of the borough's centres.

But work to upgrade other cameras, in key parks and car parks, has been completed.

The switch-off in town centres was decided by the council's executive in 2020 - as reported by us here (Opens in a new window).

The topic came up at a recent council meeting on Thursday 21 September, when Cllr Mark Smith (Labour) highlighted (Opens in a new window) the "growing problem of anti-social behaviour" in the town, and his concerns when he learned that CCTV there wasn't working.

Executive member Cllr Ashford (Conservative) responded: "I will draw your attention to the executive decision in December 2020 to rationalise CCTV in the borough, upgrading CCTV in Bancroft and Clarendon Road car parks, and in Lady Neville, Memorial and Priory Parks, and removing the other public realm CCTV across the borough.

"The Executive’s decision was in response to losing the current police CCTV monitoring arrangements, and recognises the developments in privately owned CCTV since the council cameras were established. Work to remove the redundant town centre cameras is being undertaken in the autumn, with the works to upgrade the cameras in the car parks and parks having been completed over the summer."

In answer to a follow-up question from Cllr Smith, Cllr Ashford confirmed there were zero working CCTV cameras in Redhill town centre and referred Cllr Smith to the 2020 executive papers.

"[That] includes information on a full consultation and discussion with the police about the lack of need for its CCTV control room in the area and the preference for privately owned CCTV," Cllr Ashford added.

Cllr Ashford also said the council was currently reviewing the Public Space Protection Order put in place for Redhill town centre in 2017 and renewed in 2020.

Image by Mudassar Iqbal (Opens in a new window) via Pixabay

Harlequin Arts Takeover going ahead

The Harlequin Arts Takeover, running from Saturday 7 to Friday 13 October, will now take place but with venue changes, while the Harlequin remains closed because of the presence of RAAC.

The Belfry shopping centre, Redhill, is now the main venue. The council has said: "Most events are now taking place in a unit located just opposite the lifts on the first floor. Big thanks to our friends at The Belfry and The Children’s Trust for helping to make this possible at short notice.

"From flow poetry, performed by an award-winning show-opener for Stormzy, to discovering the art of what makes great crime fiction, Arts Takeover Week has something for everyone.

"Please check individual events on our website (Opens in a new window)for full details including how you can get involved. "

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