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CCTV Camera at Nursery Corner

March 2, 2009 by  

CRW_1622A CCTV camera erected at Nursery Corner in January was swiftly removed at the request of District Councillor John Mason.

It then took several weeks to find out what was going on and, by complete coincidence, this web site was brought down just as we were ready to publish.

Again the matter of the adequacy of our existng laws has been taken up with our MP but, as yet, there has been no reply.

Here is how the County Council explained.

Thank you for your correspondence on this matter and apologies for not replying to you earlier but I have been investigating the points you have raised.
 
It appears after an investigation that the traffic survey to which you refer was carried out on behalf of the potential promoter of the Coombes Farm site in Rochford and as such they or their contractors have responsibility to carry out this work in an appropriate and regulated way.
 
While it appears that a CCTV camera was placed on some street furniture owned by the county council, the company responsible did not seek permission from ECC and as soon as highways officers became aware, required the company responsible to remove it immediately. It is common practice for traffic data to be collected to prepare a Transport Assessment; traditionally this has been by way of people actually counting the vehicles passing the site. The use of CCTV technology to do the same job is relatively new.
 
We have subsequently been informed by the company concerned they comply with all the necessary regulations and implement appropriate safeguards. We are currently examining these issues very closely to ensure this is the case, as this method of data collection may well become more common practice.
 
If you have further concerns about the matter then I would suggest that you may wish to contact either the company responsible or the Information Commissioner to whom you can report the matter if you believe data has been wrongfully obtained.
 
I hope these answers the questions you have raised, as you can see Essex County Council was not involved in this exercise but I can assure you that we are looking very closely at the issues it raises.
 
Mark Lawrence
Strategic Development Engineer
Planning & Transportation

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