Falmouth taxi marshals cash crisis
7:00am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
Falmouth’s taxi marshal scheme could be reduced to just one night a week unless additional cash is found to allow it to continue operating on both Friday and Saturday nights.
The scheme, which is promoted by the police and Sergeant Gary Watts in particular, was launched last April and is operated by Infinitus Security, who ran it at a loss during its first year.
Sgt Watts appealed for financial help from Falmouth Town Council, which administers the scheme, to see the scheme through until the end of this month and into the next financial year. “It has been a fantastic scheme for the town,” he said.
“It has helped us a great deal and helped the licensees and the whole atmosphere of The Moor. We have learned a lot from the last year should it be taken forward.”
Councillors were told there will be a shortfall of £1,615 for this financial year and that the funding pledged so far by businesses and the universities for next year will only pay for one night a week.
“It would be a shame to reduce it to one night, but I don’t want to make a commitment to the company that we are going to do two nights and find ourselves unable to,” said Sgt Watts.
“I will do everything I can to try and raise funds from new businesses. I am confident I can find half of that (money needed), but I don’t want to make any promises.”
It will cost £13,728 to operate the scheme on two nights a week and £6,864 for one night. The amount already pledged to Sgt Watts will enable the latter, but he is desperate the find the money to allow it to continue on both nights.
Falmouth’s finance and general purposes committee last week agreed to pay the £1,615 to enable the marshals to carry on working until the end of this financial year. Members further agreed to contribute a maximum of £3,400 next year to be used as match funding. This will leave around another £5,000 needed to secure the two nights for the whole of next year.
Councillor David Saunby said: “This is a service we cannot lose. We have to back it to the hilt and this council should do everything it can.”
Related links: First night success for Falmouth taxi marshal scheme