‘I think that we have to bite the bullet and put in a CCTV camera’ – that’s what parish councillors feel is the best way forward for the youth shelter in Rothbury.
At its monthly meeting last Wednesday, members agreed that quotes for the installation of a CCTV camera at the much-discussed spot on the riverside should be sought for the next meeting.
The debate, at which a number of different aspects were mentioned, followed a lengthy discussion on the same issue at the January meeting.
This had been sparked by a letter from a resident, which said: ‘Since the installation, we have suffered graffiti being sprayed onto our wall, graffiti being sprayed onto the bridge and graffiti being constantly sprayed onto the shelter itself. Some of this graffiti has been extremely vulgar.’
Returning to this issue and the request for the shelter to be removed, Coun Peter Dawson said: “It’s going to be very difficult to sell because Rothbury has experienced graffiti over the years and I don’t know how you are going to stop it.”
Coun Hilary Woodburn suggested looking at anti-graffiti paint, but Coun Jeff Sutton said: “Or should we look at giving them something to do in the village?”
Coun Steven Bridgett replied: “That really bugs me because young people have more to do than they have ever had. There are any number of things to do in the village.
“Where does it end? Even if you cater for absolutely everyone, I don’t think you would stop graffiti and the vandalism.”
Coun Woodburn said: “If you get rid of the youth shelter, it’s not going to get rid of the problem. I think the CCTV is a really good idea.
“If you take away the youth shelter, you will get them doing graffiti on private property.”
Coun Sutton added: “I agree it’s not the shelter, that’s just a catalyst.”
Coun Bridgett said: “I think we have to bite the bullet and put in a CCTV camera.”
Some councillors also felt that the lighting column, which has not worked for some time, should be removed as sufficient light is provided in the area by the bridge, although this view was not unanimous.