Cinema owner happy to have CCTV

FELIXSTOWE'S cinema owner today hit back over allegations that the town's CCTV scheme has been delayed because he wanted to charge rent for a rooftop transmitter site.

FELIXSTOWE'S cinema owner today hit back over allegations that the town's CCTV scheme has been delayed because he wanted to charge rent for a rooftop transmitter site.

Organisers of the crime-busting camera project say Patrick Duffy asked for more than £4,000 a year to have the equipment on top of The Palace cinema and bingo hall.

They had believed he would give the site for free.

But Mr Duffy, managing director of Palatial Leisure, said the fee he suggested in a letter to the CCTV task group was not rent, but the estimated costs associated with installing the machinery.

He said if the transmitter needed electricity a separate outside supply would need to be connected and relayed to the roof, and the electricity would need to be paid for.

Work would have to be done to ensure the machinery was safe and the area would need railings, and public liability insurance would be required, and staff may have to be paid to come in early occasionally to provide access for maintenance or repair teams.

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“I was not talking about rent at all but simply the cost of some of the work which would be needed to put this equipment in place,” he said.

“Putting an electricity supply to the roof is likely to cost at least £700 and possibly £1,000 alone.

“It's very windy on the roof and we would need to be sure it was secure and safe.

“Electricity to run it could be £10 a week.

“It was a rough estimate of costs. I am willing to contribute to a CCTV scheme and I believe Felixstowe should have a CCTV scheme, but I don't think it is fair for me to bear all the costs.

“I sent this to the group but they have not replied or come back to talk to me about it.”

He said costs would have been lower in future years once the main installation work was done.

Mr Duffy has just spent £40,000 on CCTV for the outside of his premises as part of a major refurbishment project.

Felixstowe has been offered £36,000 by the government for a four-camera scheme.

“I am happy to contribute and the last thing I want is for Felixstowe not to have CCTV,” he said.

“If there are 80 businesses in the town centre and they all gave £1 a week it would pay for the transmitter to be installed and if they all gave £10 a week we could more than double the government money and have a marvellous camera scheme which covered the whole town centre.”

The Evening Star is backing the town's bid for CCTV and urging everyone to work together to provide it as soon as possible to give greater protection to the town centre.

Do you want to see CCTV in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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