Several residents involved in Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Cambridge have been warned by police that they will in future have to register signs that they fix to lampposts, and pay £25 for each one, plus surveying costs.
Such charges have not been imposed.
In some areas, you do have to register signs that are fixed to lampposts, in the interests of safety.
But not in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire County Council has not authorised Balfour Beatty to make charges, and councillors have not approved such charges.
UPDATE (18th June 2016)
We have pursued this at the Council and it transpires that an officer gave an instruction to Balfour Beatty when he shouldn’t have done. That has now been countermanded and we have received the following advice:
Thank you for forwarding on the residents’ concerns. We have no current or future plans to charge Neighbourhood Watch Associations for signs which are already in place and I have confirmed this with Balfour Beatty. Neighbourhood Watch Associations are not subject to fees for the installation of new Neighbourhood Watch signs at this time and if we do consider introducing charges in the future, Balfour Beatty and ourselves will notify Neighbourhood Watch Associations as to the requirements of any new installations.
Hopefully this has provided you with reassurance about the situation and I would be grateful if you could forward this information on to any concerned residents that come forward. Neither Balfour Beatty or ourselves have officially issued any information in relation to this but I will contact Neighbourhood Watch leaders to let them know the above.
This doesn’t mean the idea of the charges is dead – the Conservatives on the County Council may seek to get the plan agreed at committee. We in the Liberal Democrat group will be voting against, but any feedback from you would be helpful.