THE council has earmarked £250,000 to be spent on expanding CCTV coverage across West Lancs in this year’s budget.
The funding – announced by Cllr David Westley, portfolio holder for finance, at last Thursday’s budget meeting – is expected to lead to several new cameras being installed as Big Brother is rolled out into areas of the borough not currently covered.
During the meeting, Labour Cllr Bob Pendleton asked whether any of the funds would be allocated to providing CCTV coverage in industrial areas of Skelmersdale such as the Pimbo and Gillibrands estates.
Council leader Cllr Ian Grant said they would be looking at replacing some of the existing cameras with more modern ones as well as increasing coverage on new sites.
He said a report would be drawn up to look into where best to spend the money, which would come before cabinet in due course.
And Cllr Westley said: “I’m asking the council to spend this much but the details are yet to be worked out. This is what we feel is an appropriate amount to invest in CCTV.”
Last week the Advertiser revealed figures obtained by privacy group Big Brother Watch, showing the council was the third highest spender in Lancashire on CCTV over the last four years.
The council said it had paid an average of £211,844 a year to CCTV contractors in that period, but will be spending over that average figure this year.