Row over funding for Kidderminster CCTV

Kidderminster Shuttle: Clamping down: Nathan Desmond and Fran Oborski on Comberton Hill. Clamping down: Nathan Desmond and Fran Oborski on Comberton Hill.

A KIDDERMINSTER area plagued by antisocial behaviour is to have a CCTV camera installed following calls from fearful traders.

But the announcement has sparked political controversy after Comberton Hill’s two Worcestershire county councillors, who pledged £1,000 each from their community funding pot to help with installation costs, were accused of “politicising” the issue.

St Chad’s Liberal councillor Fran Oborski and St Mary’s Conservative councillor Nathan Desmond announced their contributions after shop owners campaigned for action last year following a spate of incidents, including two armed robberies.

St George’s and St Oswald’s county councillor Mumshad Ahmed, who pledged £625 of his community funding, however, said the issue had “become political rather than about safety”.

The councillor who owns Indian Style takeaway in Comberton Place, added: “The district council should be looking after businesses anyway and they shouldn’t have to rely on divisional [community] funding.”

Mrs Oborski said Wyre Forest District Council, which will meet annual running costs, required county councillors from the area to make an equal contribution and added: “If Mumshad wants to contribute that is fine. It has taken 18 months of extremely hard work and highlights the commitment to Comberton Hill as a major gateway to the town and it is typical of the Labour Party to try and wreck something in an area they are not represented in.”

The hill’s traders were also split on councillors’ motives.

Lydia Mares, of Vacarro’s, said: “We appreciate any help regarding this issue, however it came about, and was initiated by local businesses and we do not wish to see people make political capital from it.”

Carol Huntington, of Carol’s Florist, said: “We do get trouble on the hill and I do not think it is a political issue. I was very pleased councillors got involved. It has got to be a good thing.”

The camera is likely to be placed outside Tesco Express or Casper Stores and it is hoped the installation process, which includes getting planning permission, will start in April.

Wyre Forest Community Safety Partnership will also contribute towards costs.

Comments (27)

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9:40am Thu 7 Feb 13

Respectable says...

If this area has been proven to suffer from Anti-Social behaviour to the point that CCTV funding is being committed. Why are West Mercia's finest not stepping up their presence with foot patrols and PCSO's ?

All the CCTV will do is provide grainy images of idiots that nobody wants to identify for fear of reprisals..

Come on plod.. If it's a hotspot get out of the camera vans and patrol cars and feel some collars..
If this area has been proven to suffer from Anti-Social behaviour to the point that CCTV funding is being committed. Why are West Mercia's finest not stepping up their presence with foot patrols and PCSO's ? All the CCTV will do is provide grainy images of idiots that nobody wants to identify for fear of reprisals.. Come on plod.. If it's a hotspot get out of the camera vans and patrol cars and feel some collars.. Respectable
  • Score: 0

10:38am Thu 7 Feb 13

vassenden says...

I dont believe it , well I do, like a lot of 10 year olds falling out over who has the best Trainers. For heavens sake you so called councilors, grow up. All be grateful that the money is coming from somewhere, and get the things installed for the sake of the business people in the area.
This just about sums up politicians, not interested in the real problem, just out to look better than all the other parties. Just like the government and opposition in Parliament.
I dont believe it , well I do, like a lot of 10 year olds falling out over who has the best Trainers. For heavens sake you so called councilors, grow up. All be grateful that the money is coming from somewhere, and get the things installed for the sake of the business people in the area. This just about sums up politicians, not interested in the real problem, just out to look better than all the other parties. Just like the government and opposition in Parliament. vassenden
  • Score: 0

11:36am Thu 7 Feb 13

C&S Solicitors says...

We are a firm of Solicitors on Comberton Hill at the bottom of end of the Hill.
The situation that has arisen is as a result of what the traders on the hill did - the petition that was carried out and arranged by Steve Walker and whilst I appreciate he is a Labour candidate however to my knowledge he was the only political person campaigning for this that we were aware of as a business in the affected area and he helped organise the traders petition. Apart from 1 letter from Fran asking if we wanted to donate money to the CCTV.
I find this political grandstanding look at what I have done when others have worked for months behind the scene somewhat distasteful and if people have worked together then credit should be given where due.
In addition to this I emailed in reference to the CCTV to the Community Safety Partnership as referenced above on the 16th August 2012. The reason for this was because Fran Oborski had sent a letter asking what we as traders were willing to contribute to the CCTV scheme. (This was the first and only contact we have had from Fran Oborski regarding this issue until the confirmation of the CCTV itself and it was to seek monies) - I therefore contacted the Safety Partnership and to date have never had a response from them in regard to my queries.
Regarding the police I think that is a problem Kidderminster wide where there certainly appears to be a lack of police numbers generally although I do agree that with higher numbers of police on the hill that would be effective witht he current numbers and budget constraints this is not practicle hence the CCTV as an option.
We are a firm of Solicitors on Comberton Hill at the bottom of end of the Hill. The situation that has arisen is as a result of what the traders on the hill did - the petition that was carried out and arranged by Steve Walker and whilst I appreciate he is a Labour candidate however to my knowledge he was the only political person campaigning for this that we were aware of as a business in the affected area and he helped organise the traders petition. Apart from 1 letter from Fran asking if we wanted to donate money to the CCTV. I find this political grandstanding look at what I have done when others have worked for months behind the scene somewhat distasteful and if people have worked together then credit should be given where due. In addition to this I emailed in reference to the CCTV to the Community Safety Partnership as referenced above on the 16th August 2012. The reason for this was because Fran Oborski had sent a letter asking what we as traders were willing to contribute to the CCTV scheme. (This was the first and only contact we have had from Fran Oborski regarding this issue until the confirmation of the CCTV itself and it was to seek monies) - I therefore contacted the Safety Partnership and to date have never had a response from them in regard to my queries. Regarding the police I think that is a problem Kidderminster wide where there certainly appears to be a lack of police numbers generally although I do agree that with higher numbers of police on the hill that would be effective witht he current numbers and budget constraints this is not practicle hence the CCTV as an option. C&S Solicitors
  • Score: 0

11:58am Thu 7 Feb 13

Red Flag Dan says...

Wyre Forest Council to meet ongoing costs?

Really?

It will be interesting to see if they're still up and running in 3 year's time.
Wyre Forest Council to meet ongoing costs? Really? It will be interesting to see if they're still up and running in 3 year's time. Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Jack Carter says...

CCTV would be welcome as it represents some progress and I have to say the Police (in my experience) have been excellent. Whenever I have had cause to call them reference public order issues happening on 'the hill' they've turned out in minutes.

The anti-social behaviour seems much worse at night, especially in the small hours of the morning. A possible solution, as far as I am concerned, is to curtail the opening hours of the one establishment which currently remains open to around 3.30am - Tastyland. Sorry owners of Tastyland but its my view that your establishment acts as a magnet to all of the mindless druken idiots in the district. Its my guess that if Tastyland closed in line with the rest of the late night businesses on 'the hill' (i.e. at 23.00) then the vast majority of the morons would have no particular reason to come up the hill in the first place.
CCTV would be welcome as it represents some progress and I have to say the Police (in my experience) have been excellent. Whenever I have had cause to call them reference public order issues happening on 'the hill' they've turned out in minutes. The anti-social behaviour seems much worse at night, especially in the small hours of the morning. A possible solution, as far as I am concerned, is to curtail the opening hours of the one establishment which currently remains open to around 3.30am - Tastyland. Sorry owners of Tastyland but its my view that your establishment acts as a magnet to all of the mindless druken idiots in the district. Its my guess that if Tastyland closed in line with the rest of the late night businesses on 'the hill' (i.e. at 23.00) then the vast majority of the morons would have no particular reason to come up the hill in the first place. Jack Carter
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 7 Feb 13

comberton hill questions says...

Politicians taking credit for something they have not done surely not lol.
Politicians taking credit for something they have not done surely not lol. comberton hill questions
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Tory Stooge says...

None of this would have been possible without the heroic efforts of Nathan. I for one will be voting for him when he stands for re-election in just a few weeks.
None of this would have been possible without the heroic efforts of Nathan. I for one will be voting for him when he stands for re-election in just a few weeks. Tory Stooge
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Thu 7 Feb 13

neilhar says...

Steve Walker is a labour candidate? Eh? Was he not a Tory one last year?
Steve Walker is a labour candidate? Eh? Was he not a Tory one last year? neilhar
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Thu 7 Feb 13

emjaypee says...

@neilhar - you might have a point there.Cllr Ahmed has swapped parties a few times since being elected without asking his electorate what they think via a ballot. So who knows what the other prospective's are or will be in 2 or 3 yrs time. Do our Cllrs even know who they are themselves?
Sounds as though Cllr Ahmed is displaying the same sour grapes as when he & his colleagues tried to table a no confidence motion on the Police & crime commisioner.
@neilhar - you might have a point there.Cllr Ahmed has swapped parties a few times since being elected without asking his electorate what they think via a ballot. So who knows what the other prospective's are or will be in 2 or 3 yrs time. Do our Cllrs even know who they are themselves? Sounds as though Cllr Ahmed is displaying the same sour grapes as when he & his colleagues tried to table a no confidence motion on the Police & crime commisioner. emjaypee
  • Score: 0

9:54am Fri 8 Feb 13

Tory Stooge says...

I agree with emjapee 100%. Play the man not the ball. No one else is serious about crime fighting apart from Nathan and the Conservative Party.That is why we should all vote for him in just a few weeks time.
I agree with emjapee 100%. Play the man not the ball. No one else is serious about crime fighting apart from Nathan and the Conservative Party.That is why we should all vote for him in just a few weeks time. Tory Stooge
  • Score: 0

10:02am Fri 8 Feb 13

walkerno5 says...

The problem here is the councillors community funding pots. The principle is anti-democratic and these act effectively as taxpayer paid, pre-election publicity stunts. Scrap 'em. If something needs doing, let the council decide it needs doing.

We don't expect Mark Garnier to be given £ 50k out of the pot to spend as he sees fit in the district, so why should we expect this to happen in wards with councilllors?
The problem here is the councillors community funding pots. The principle is anti-democratic and these act effectively as taxpayer paid, pre-election publicity stunts. Scrap 'em. If something needs doing, let the council decide it needs doing. We don't expect Mark Garnier to be given £ 50k out of the pot to spend as he sees fit in the district, so why should we expect this to happen in wards with councilllors? walkerno5
  • Score: 0

10:47am Fri 8 Feb 13

HowardM says...

@neilhar - Steve Walker was Labour Candidate in Greenhill last year.

One point here is that District Councillors also have a small £1000 "pot" to spend on community issues - the Council protocol does not permit them to get press publicity on how they spend that money. It is not "their" money, it is Council Tax payers money of which they are custodians and allocators - nothing more..

The same protocol does not apply to County Councillors regarding the allocation of their funds and the point is well made at C&S Solicitors (above) about grandstanding!

Call me a cynic but why do either of these two Councillors need a nice photo of them in the paper for allocating County Council Tax Payers funds back to the community for the benefit of the public, who they serve, if it hasn't got something to do with the fact they are both up for re-election in May? It is part of their role - it isn't out of their kindness and generosity and it certainly isn't "their" money to give!

This is a "good news" story about something positive happening to make Comberton Hill a better and safer place for businesses and users. It a pity its been hijacked in such an unprincipled way by two elected community representatives seeking to promote their own self interest.
@neilhar - Steve Walker was Labour Candidate in Greenhill last year. One point here is that District Councillors also have a small £1000 "pot" to spend on community issues - the Council protocol does not permit them to get press publicity on how they spend that money. It is not "their" money, it is Council Tax payers money of which they are custodians and allocators - nothing more.. The same protocol does not apply to County Councillors regarding the allocation of their funds and the point is well made at C&S Solicitors (above) about grandstanding! Call me a cynic but why do either of these two Councillors need a nice photo of them in the paper for allocating County Council Tax Payers funds back to the community for the benefit of the public, who they serve, if it hasn't got something to do with the fact they are both up for re-election in May? It is part of their role - it isn't out of their kindness and generosity and it certainly isn't "their" money to give! This is a "good news" story about something positive happening to make Comberton Hill a better and safer place for businesses and users. It a pity its been hijacked in such an unprincipled way by two elected community representatives seeking to promote their own self interest. HowardM
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Fri 8 Feb 13

SEWELL says...

Point well made Howard.This is the reason that Councilors are excluded from some community projects such as the Big Local.The two Councilors pictured undermine the great work that the Station Hill community have carried out and may deter others from getting involved in simular projects in the future. However I don't think it will concern them greatly as long as they can get some publicity off the back of others.
Point well made Howard.This is the reason that Councilors are excluded from some community projects such as the Big Local.The two Councilors pictured undermine the great work that the Station Hill community have carried out and may deter others from getting involved in simular projects in the future. However I don't think it will concern them greatly as long as they can get some publicity off the back of others. SEWELL
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Shibdrift says...

How many more times will this shower of muppets, (who are supposedly there for the benefit of the constituents that voted them in), stand around with their thumb up their ar*e, pontificating?!

Just get on with doing something useful for a change.
How many more times will this shower of muppets, (who are supposedly there for the benefit of the constituents that voted them in), stand around with their thumb up their ar*e, pontificating?! Just get on with doing something useful for a change. Shibdrift
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Fri 8 Feb 13

pinkkelly says...

How about driving while on your mobile phone Desmond? Near to a nursery,... Next project for you.
How about driving while on your mobile phone Desmond? Near to a nursery,... Next project for you. pinkkelly
  • Score: 0

7:41pm Fri 8 Feb 13

comberton hill questions says...

Dear oh dear - this is about CCTV and making it a political issue and allegedly taking credit for something not done by them. emjaypee still being balanced and knocking all parties I see lmao.
For the record Steve is Labour and always has been neilhar I assume with Mumshad he changed as he saw the tories for what they really are try to guess who this is: is he expelled is he not yes he is national say he is not when he is expelled the councillors still back him despite the local party not - not surprising Mumshad moved from that party is it!! Bit like the Liberal democrats no tuition fees oh we are in power did not think that would happen ok lets treble them dear oh dear what a shambles.
Dear oh dear - this is about CCTV and making it a political issue and allegedly taking credit for something not done by them. emjaypee still being balanced and knocking all parties I see lmao. For the record Steve is Labour and always has been neilhar I assume with Mumshad he changed as he saw the tories for what they really are try to guess who this is: is he expelled is he not yes he is national say he is not when he is expelled the councillors still back him despite the local party not - not surprising Mumshad moved from that party is it!! Bit like the Liberal democrats no tuition fees oh we are in power did not think that would happen ok lets treble them dear oh dear what a shambles. comberton hill questions
  • Score: 0

1:13am Sat 9 Feb 13

walkerno5 says...

"For the record Steve is Labour and always has been neilhar"

http://www.kiddermin
stershuttle.co.uk/ne
ws/8631594.Broadwate
rs_Conservative_acti
vist_resigns_from_pa
rty/

Did anyone else know that the always clock had reset in November 2010?
"For the record Steve is Labour and always has been neilhar" http://www.kiddermin stershuttle.co.uk/ne ws/8631594.Broadwate rs_Conservative_acti vist_resigns_from_pa rty/ Did anyone else know that the always clock had reset in November 2010? walkerno5
  • Score: 0

1:28am Sat 9 Feb 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Hang on a minute, is this the same two people that were telling the business owners that they would have to dig in their own pockets if they wanted
CCTV, as no other money was
available ? And now they find it in the tax payers pockets pretending its their own ? Shameful cynical politicking at the communities expense.
Hang on a minute, is this the same two people that were telling the business owners that they would have to dig in their own pockets if they wanted CCTV, as no other money was available ? And now they find it in the tax payers pockets pretending its their own ? Shameful cynical politicking at the communities expense. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

8:06am Sat 9 Feb 13

comberton hill questions says...

well neilhar and walkno5 what I said was in good faith and if it is the same person what I was stating was in good faith.
The trouble with the situation as a whole is that this is about the CCTV and who has helped and unfortunately this has become a political advert for 2 people giving out our money.
The fact is if Steve Walker or Mumshad Ahmed or Fran Oborski or Nathan Desmond do something then great irrespective of party or background however when someone takes plaudits for something they have not done or simply hand out council money and then publicise the fact that says more about them than anything else.
well neilhar and walkno5 what I said was in good faith and if it is the same person what I was stating was in good faith. The trouble with the situation as a whole is that this is about the CCTV and who has helped and unfortunately this has become a political advert for 2 people giving out our money. The fact is if Steve Walker or Mumshad Ahmed or Fran Oborski or Nathan Desmond do something then great irrespective of party or background however when someone takes plaudits for something they have not done or simply hand out council money and then publicise the fact that says more about them than anything else. comberton hill questions
  • Score: 0

9:49am Sat 9 Feb 13

Tory Stooge says...

If you look at the photograph carefully you can see what looks like a halo above Nathan's head and there's a tree growing out of his mums head as well.
If you look at the photograph carefully you can see what looks like a halo above Nathan's head and there's a tree growing out of his mums head as well. Tory Stooge
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Sat 9 Feb 13

emjaypee says...

Of course Cllr Ahmed is not politicising the issue!!!! yet he is pledging £625 of his share. Why is he not spending all of his allocation in his own electoral ward toward worthy causes there?
A cynic might think it is because his business is along Comberton Hill therefore he stands to gain in a personal way.
Of course Cllr Ahmed is not politicising the issue!!!! yet he is pledging £625 of his share. Why is he not spending all of his allocation in his own electoral ward toward worthy causes there? A cynic might think it is because his business is along Comberton Hill therefore he stands to gain in a personal way. emjaypee
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Sat 9 Feb 13

Tory Stooge says...

Well said emjapee! Nathan is brilliant. That's why we will both be voting for him in a few weeks. Fancy going out for a drink?
Well said emjapee! Nathan is brilliant. That's why we will both be voting for him in a few weeks. Fancy going out for a drink? Tory Stooge
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Sat 9 Feb 13

emjaypee says...

Don't think you are my type Stoogy.. no offence.
Don't think you are my type Stoogy.. no offence. emjaypee
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Sun 10 Feb 13

C&S Solicitors says...

We are writing regarding this issue to confirm that since our comment above the Wyre Forest Community Safety Partnership has written to our firm confirming their involvement in the CCTV scheme and apologising for not responding previously. We appreciate their response and thought it only right to confirm the same within the forum that this was originally raised.
We are writing regarding this issue to confirm that since our comment above the Wyre Forest Community Safety Partnership has written to our firm confirming their involvement in the CCTV scheme and apologising for not responding previously. We appreciate their response and thought it only right to confirm the same within the forum that this was originally raised. C&S Solicitors
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Primrose Coley says...

It would be nice if for once, across party councillors could be seen working together for the benefit of their collective communities. For goodness sake councillors leave your egos out of it and get on with the job/s in hand. The money being donated by these three councillors comes from the Community Leadership Fund, which is currently under review anyway. As will be these councillors shortly, when they stand for re-election in May.
One thing in their favour is, the public is left in no doubt where this portion of the C. L. F. has been spent.
What's surprising is the number of people who aren't aware this funding exists. County Councillors receive £10,000 each from the Divisional Fund Scheme Grant, and District Councillors £1,000 from the Community Grant. If the District Councillor is also a County Councillor, he/she receives both grants, netting £ 11,000. If this money is not spent it has to be returned to the funding pot at the end of the financial year. Information on how these monies have been spent, is available on the Wyre Forest D.C's website which lists each councillors spend. The same is true of the County Council's website in respect of its councillors.
This is all taxpayer's money, and maybe we should have more say on where it is spent in our communities. Particularly in the light of so many cuts to our services. What do you think???
It would be nice if for once, across party councillors could be seen working together for the benefit of their collective communities. For goodness sake councillors leave your egos out of it and get on with the job/s in hand. The money being donated by these three councillors comes from the Community Leadership Fund, which is currently under review anyway. As will be these councillors shortly, when they stand for re-election in May. One thing in their favour is, the public is left in no doubt where this portion of the C. L. F. has been spent. What's surprising is the number of people who aren't aware this funding exists. County Councillors receive £10,000 each from the Divisional Fund Scheme Grant, and District Councillors £1,000 from the Community Grant. If the District Councillor is also a County Councillor, he/she receives both grants, netting £ 11,000. If this money is not spent it has to be returned to the funding pot at the end of the financial year. Information on how these monies have been spent, is available on the Wyre Forest D.C's website which lists each councillors spend. The same is true of the County Council's website in respect of its councillors. This is all taxpayer's money, and maybe we should have more say on where it is spent in our communities. Particularly in the light of so many cuts to our services. What do you think??? Primrose Coley
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Wed 13 Feb 13

FranOb says...

County Community Leadership Fund is NOT under review and WFDC Fund will carry on next year. Greenhill PACT ASKED me to see if I could sort funding for this which, with Nathan I have done.
Last year I ASKED traders if they old be willing to contribute, 2 were but the rest would not so I had to work, with colleagues to get a publicly funded scheme, that is what has been achieved by 2 County Cllrs from DIFFERENT Political Parties who actually represent the area working together to deliver a much needed scheme.
This is what the Community Leadership Role of Councillors is actually about!
County Community Leadership Fund is NOT under review and WFDC Fund will carry on next year. Greenhill PACT ASKED me to see if I could sort funding for this which, with Nathan I have done. Last year I ASKED traders if they old be willing to contribute, 2 were but the rest would not so I had to work, with colleagues to get a publicly funded scheme, that is what has been achieved by 2 County Cllrs from DIFFERENT Political Parties who actually represent the area working together to deliver a much needed scheme. This is what the Community Leadership Role of Councillors is actually about! FranOb
  • Score: 0

11:45pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Tory Stooge says...

Nathan's mum is right. Since when has buying votes been seen as bad thing?
Nathan's mum is right. Since when has buying votes been seen as bad thing? Tory Stooge
  • Score: 0

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