CONFUSION surrounds the future of speed cameras in Swindon.

Last November Swindon Council threatened to pull out of the group which runs the speed camera operation unless Government agreed to plough all the revenue they generate back into the town.

In January the Adver revealed Government had refused to hand back the cash.

Despite the council adopting the drop out motion at a meeting in November, still nothing has changed.

Now the councillor behind the withdrawal plan says talks on the cameras' futures in Swindon are ongoing.

But Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership says it has heard nothing from the council and has funding for the next year.

"Nothing is happening with the speed cameras at the moment because we are still in talks," said councillor Peter Greenhalgh, Swindon Council cabinet member for highways, transport and strategic planning.

"There is a meeting planned with the speed camera partnership next month, I think."

Coun Greenhalgh previously told the Adver that he was not against speed cameras - just that he thought they had been placed in positions to catch drivers and generate cash for the Government.

He also said that even if the council dropped out of the Wiltshire partnership it may run its own operation in other areas.

But Nisha Devani, manager of the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership, said that Swindon council would need legislation before it could run its own scheme.

She also said cameras were positioned at accident blackspots to improve road safety, not make money. Figures produced by the partnership revealed that sites where cameras have been fixed in positions have seen a 67.21 per cent drop in the number of fatal and serious injuries since they were introduced.

"If Swindon Council wants to come and see us and talk about this it would be very welcome," said Ms Devani.

"But no-one has come to speak to us. We want to talk to them so they have the relevant information.

"What we do know is that we will be getting funding as normal this financial year. We haven't been told of any change."

Ms Devani also confirmed that out-of-operation cameras in Swindon would soon be back in working order.

"Cameras on the A420 at South Marston and at Queens Drive have been out of action for a while.

"In order for us to be able to enforce the law on speed cameras everything needs to be in legal order. The signage has to be correct the layout has to be correct.

"These cameras are presently bagged up as we are unable to legally enforce things there. They will be back in operation soon."

The Adver learned of the situation after polling nearly 500 people on speed cameras in Swindon.

We asked if the town needed them and 52 per cent of those polled said no.

But the safety camera partnership said that its own survey, done across the whole of Wiltshire, found that 87 per cent of people backed the continued use of cameras.

Coun Greenhalgh said he was not surprised by the results of the poll.

He said: "It all depends on the question you ask - I think if you asked the question - are speed cameras used appropriately - you might not have got the same response.

"I don't think anyone would complain about a speed camera being placed in an accident blackspot.

"But that is very different from a van parked by the side of the road catching people who may be slightly over the speed limit but not causing a danger."