CCTV cameras could be installed in Wombwell’s main shopping area as councillors search for long-term solutions to a spate of problems including shoplifting and aggressive begging in the village.

Those issues have largely been resolved for the moment, with three suspects identified as the main culprits and police action resulting in two arrests.

But councillors who represent the community want to ensure there is no repeat of the trouble and have identified the latest generation of CCTV as a potential answer, along with access to some of the council financed wardens employed for the town centre.

Money for a CCTV system to cover the High Street could be made available from Barnsley Council’s ‘Principle Towns’ fund, a £5m pot of cash the authority has made available to upgrade the borough’s satellite shopping centres so they are not left behind by the major redevelopment of the town centre.

Getting cover for the area by wardens who are being employed by the council to help keep the town centre safe and welcoming would need negotiation within the authority, said Coun Daniel Griffin, who represents the ward and that dialogue has already begun.

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“The bid for money to install CCTV would be a major element of the area’s bid for Principle Towns cash,” he added.

Councillors had hoped to take steps to bring the old Burton building back into use, but it appears the venue’s owners have their own plans for its future.

That freed them up to look for other improvements and a camera system is seen as a safeguard against crime and antisocial behaviour, providing reassurance to visitors that trips into Wombwell will provide a safe and welcoming environment.

Councillors also hope to formalise short stay car parking in the High Street, something motorists already do although there are no parking bays and waiting restrictions are in place, with spaces only for disabled drivers.

Coun Griffin said it was recognised shoppers wanted the convenience of being able to park for a few minutes to buy ‘a paper and milk’ without having to walk longer distances from existing car parks.

A complication to adding parking bays is that underground services, including fibre-optic cables, run along the street and disturbing them for groundworks becomes an expensive process.

“People want to park for 15 minutes to get milk and a paper and people are doing it illegally at the moment - we want to make it legal,” he said.

Coun Griffin said he accepted Barnsley town centre would benefit from the presence of wardens, but Wombwell and other shopping districts also had a right to benefit from the investment being made.

Some of the town centre’s new wardens will be employed full-time, with others on contracts lasting several years, using cash from a windfall the council has accrued from the careful management of its budgets.

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.