LEDBURY’S CCTV system could fail beyond repair, because the digital video recorders used in the CCTV control room will no longer be maintained by the manufacturer.

They are effectively obsolete.

A letter from Herefordshire Council to the town council states: “Should they fail it would result in the system being redundant.”

The information has come to light following a recent independent review into the sustainability of Herefordshire’s CCTV systems.

There are also issues with the matrix, the equipment which routes images from the cameras to the recorders

But Herefordshire Council is looking to upgrade the system, making it more modern and cost effective.

And Ledbury and other market towns are being asked to help fund the proposed improvements, for around nine years.

In fact, Ledbury already helps to fund the existing cameras under an arrangement called a Service Level Agreement.

The extra funding would prove to be cost effective in less than a decade.

The letter from Herefordshire Council’s CCTV commissioning officer states: “It is calculated that the capital costs for the equipment can be recovered within nine years based on the same contribution from Ledbury Town Council and others at present.”

Other market towns to benefit will include Leominster and Ross.

Hereford already has a different and cheaper system, which uses microwave and radio links instead of the more expensive BT fibre optic links which Ledbury currently relies on.

But Hereford would also be included in the purchase of new cameras “which are cheaper to purchase, install and have superior visual capabilities”.

Ledbury town councillors discussed the situation at the last full Town Council meeting but they did not discuss costs in open session.

Cllr Keith Francis, discussing the report at the meeting, called for a site visit “as soon as possible” to Shire Hall in Hereford, where the CCTV control room is located.

This was backed by fellow councillors including the chairman of Ledbury Town Council, Cllr Nina Shields who said: “We will seek clarification what they are asking for.”