Edited extracts from the minutes of the Petworth Town Council (PTC) meeting on 21st February 2019.
PCSO Oakley gave the yearly report on crime in Petworth. In 2018 Petworth had 345 crimes, an increase of 83 incidents from the previous year. Increases were seen in antisocial behaviour and vehicle related crimes, the latter mainly due to a spate of beauty spot car park break-ins carried out by a ‘well-known’ group. There was a decrease in burglaries. PCSO Oakley was unable to comment on drug-related crimes. In the last three months most calls had either been about parking, road traffic accidents or cows and horses on the road.
Maintenance of CCTV
The Finance committee had discussed whether PTC was getting good value for money for its financial contribution for the maintenance of the CCTV in Petworth.
CCTV is owned and operated by Chichester District Council (CDC) as a county wide operation, therefore the cameras are not likely to be removed. There is evidence that on occasions when camera footage has been required to be analysed it is the smaller more discreetly placed CCTV within buildings and shop windows rather than the large tower CCTV that has given the results required.
The committee also concluded that the information received from CDC on the level of monitoring and overall service given was not commensurate with the £5,000 per year cost. After discussion it was resolved to cease contributing to the future funding of the maintenance of CCTV in Petworth, Two councillors voted against the proposal.
NatWest street furniture – Right to Bid
It was agreed that the garden area along the railings and tulip tree of the former Natwest building is a prominent and important piece of Market Square and should be preserved for the town so a Right To Bid application will be made. Editor’s note – The Community Right to Bid allows communities and parish councils to nominate buildings or land for listing by the local authority as an asset of community value. If the asset comes up for sale, the community can ‘pause’ the sale and take up to six months to find the funding required to buy the asset. www.mycommunity.org.uk.
Other items. The Leconfield Hall architectural plans are still being discussed, and hiring charges will be increased this year again. A girls’ football team has now been established by Petworth Park Sports Club. The Gardening Club will be entering Petworth town in the ‘South East In Bloom’ competition again this year.
Secret Gardens will be held on June 6th
Full details at www.petworth-tc.gov.uk