£1,500 needed to save Falmouth taxi marshalls
11:30am Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
A last-minute cash injection may save Falmouth’s taxi marshalls in the short-term, but their long-term future is in jeopardy because of a lack of financial support from local businesses which had original pledged to support the scheme.
The initiative was launched last April but, despite its success in cutting late-night crime in the area of The Moor by 50 per cent in four months, Sergeant Gary Watts arrived at a meeting of Falmouth Town Council on Monday preparing to pull the plug on the scheme.
“It has worked really, really well,” he said, “so much so that Truro have stolen the idea and are rolling it out. I started the project on the basis of the promises I had, mainly from pubs and clubs in the town.
“I went ahead because I had enough money promised, but unfortunately we had tremendous difficulty pinning people down to pay and that has left us with a shortfall. So, despite this being a very good project, we are going to have to shut it off soon because we are not going to have the money to take it to the end of the (financial) year.
“The suggested amount was £5 a week and a lot of them have paid, but businesses, for whatever reasons, have decided to pull out.”
Falmouth’s mayor, Geoffrey Evans, pledged to support the scheme by donating £1,000 from his Cornwall Council contingency fund towards it. “It is a worthwhile project,” he said.
Town clerk, Mark Williams, then explained that the town council would be liable for any shortfall as it had agreed to take on the administration of the scheme. “If it goes into the red, it comes out of the public purse,” he said.
With the donation from Mr Evans, the amount needed to run the scheme until the end of the financial year is about £1,500. Councillors unanimously agreed to put the matter before the next meeting of its finance and general purposes committee, on March 4, to see if that money can be found.
Councillor Keven Ayres said: “This is really important as it goes along with the street pastors and Safe Space. We should try to find the money from somewhere to support it until at least the end of the year.”