A COUNCIL has streamlined its site locking and unlocking security arrangements.

It has given a new contract to H & A Protection Services Ltd.

Blackburn with Darwen Council currently has four firms working for it at a cost of £60,000.

Under the new contract this will increase to £70,000.

Director of finance Dean Langton said:"Security has been identified as a supply area to the authority where a corporate contract is required due to the aggregate spend across council sites.

"Key-holding will now be brought in-house and managed via electronic key safe installed and held at a central location rather than being provided by a third party supplier.

""There are no direct links or partnership back to or working with our CCTV Hub by incumbent providers at present to share intelligence, experience and advancing technology within the CCTV Hub to reduce inefficiencies and the need to attend site following the sequential alarm activations.

"We have used the opportunity to review and align all site requirements.

"An increase in costs was expected.

"The service provided will also be improved with a dedicated security guard being located at the CCTV hub out of hours who will be responsible for locking / unlocking services and also being instantly available to attend any alarm call outs.

"There is a potential revenue generation opportunity for the council by providing town centre patrols to our partnership agencies from the dedicated contractor’s officer 12 hours per evening, seven days per