Council to leave partnership

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SUFFOLK County Council is to withdraw from a partnership which aims to reduce the number of accidents on the region’s roads.

The authority’s cabinet agreed on Tuesday that it should leave the Safety Camera Partnership to save £1.2 million.

SafeCam is to transfer to Suffolk Police control if they decide the scheme, which runs speed cameras in the county, is financially viable.

In a change to plans, the date for the final withdrawal by the council has been put back by three months to give the police more time to set up funding.

However, the authority will stop paying towards speed camera operations by April 1.

The council’s contribution to the partnership could, instead, be funded from charges for speed awareness courses run by the police.

The scheme started in 2003 and has run less than 10 fixed cameras across the county as well as mobile cameras at about 50 sites.

At the cabinet meeting, Cllr Guy McGregor, portfolio holder with responsibility for roads and transport, said there are ‘people alive today’ because of the partnership’s work.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “We are working with the county council to determine whether SafeCam structure can be sustained following the withdrawal of the council from the partnership.

“Irrespective of the eventual outcome our roads policing officers have the use of mobile handheld speed guns as a tool against speeding motorists.

“As with every year a reduction in speeding will remain one of our main priorities.”