A SCHEME aimed at fighting crime on industrial estates across Witham has been given the green light to continue.

Witham Industrial Watch (WIW) will continue to support businesses in the town for the next five years after nearly 90 per cent voted in favour of retaining the Business Improvement District, or Bid, plan.

The group will collect a levy from businesses, via Braintree Council, and use the money to keep industrial estates in Witham tidy and crime free.

The scheme currently has 82 CCTV cameras, nine ANPR cameras linked to the police, eight defibrillators, a gritting service, extra rubbish bins and a website for businesses.

Kate Carling, director of Witham Industrial Watch, said: "We are 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.

"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.

"I want to say a huge thank you to those who voted and for those who have supported us.

"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.”

Of the 197 valid votes cast during a six-week voting period, 177 were in favour of continuing the crime preventing initiative.

As well as bolstering its CCTV coverage, Witham Industrial Watch also plans to look issues with traffic and parking on the industrial estates.

The group will aim to work with Essex County Council and North Essex Parking Partnership to tackle problems on the roads.

Reacting to the announcement the Bid scheme would continue, Witham MP Priti Patel said: "The vote in support of the BID by a huge margin means that WIW 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.

"There is no doubt that WIW have established themselves as champions of our industrial estates and this latest BID vote recognises the excellent work they have been doing.

"This is very much an ongoing project and I will continue to give WIW my full support."