Home secretary praises industrial estate crime-busting 'champions' on her own patch
PUBLISHED: 09:26 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 06 August 2019
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The new home secretary has praised a Business Improvement District (BID) scheme in her Essex constituency after firms voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping it.
Ninety per cent of businesses voting in the Witham Industrial Watch area - which covers three industrial estates and part of a fourth - supported a move to keep it going. They represented 177 of the 197 votes cast.
Among the measures in place under the scheme, which is the third of its kind and runs for five years, are 82 CCTV cameras, an automatic number plate recognition system and estate managers to oversee the project.
Witham MP Priti Patel said it was very much an ongoing project, and she would continue to give it her full support.
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"The vote in support of the BID by a huge margin means that Witham Industrial Watch has another five year mandate to continue with its comprehensive programme of measures to support businesses that are based on the industrial estates in Witham," she said. "There is no doubt that Witham Industrial Watch have established themselves as champions of our industrial estates and this latest BID vote recognises the excellent work they have been doing."
Kate Carling, director of Witham Industrial Watch, said they were "delighted" with the result.
"It really is a recognition of the services and support Witham Industrial Watch gives to the businesses on the industrial estates," she said. "We will be able to build on our experiences, upgrade the CCTV camera technology when required and ensure that our estate managers are on site to advise and support members, and to chivvy the local authorities."
She thanked to supporters of the scheme, including Ms Patel, police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst, mayor of Witham Councillor Clare Lager, Braintree District Council, local councillors and Braintree police officers.
"Our estate managers are in the front line and on call to ensure everyone is as safe and that the estates are as clean as possible," she said.
Ms Lager said: "On behalf of Witham Town Council I am absolutely delighted they have done so well in the vote and pleased that Witham Industrial Watch will thrive and continue their work."