Thursday, 16 August 2012

Payback Time Helps Cambridgeshire Communities

Teams of offenders are helping to improve the Cambridgeshire environment and making the streets cleaner and safer in communities across the county.

Thanks to a partnership between the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Probation Trust and the County Council Highways Maintenance Teams, offenders who have been sentenced to community punishments by the courts have been out and about carrying our a variety of tasks.

Work in Whittlesey included repairs and improvements to the green wheel cycleway with potholes repaired and vegetation cut back. In Bellmans Drive, hedges were trimmed, overgrowth on footpaths removed and tree growth blocking a street light removed to improve street lighting.

County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, Councillor Tony Orgee, said: "The work of the Community Payback teams has been really welcomed by the communities where work has been carried out and we have received significant amounts of very positive feedback from all quarters regarding the good work they have been doing."

The teams of offenders, supervised by experienced Probation Service staff, carry out a variety of routine maintenance tasks which complement the work of the County Council's highway maintenance teams and help the council to make best use of its limited financial resources.

John Budd, CEO of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Probation Trust (CPPT), said: "I am delighted that CPPT is working in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council. "Through the use of unpaid work we can deliver benefits to the community which improve the environment and make the street cleaner and safer.

"The partnership with the Highways Department is a win win. Offenders make a visible reparation to communities as directed by the Courts but also learn important social and practical skills as well as deriving the satisfaction of seeing a job well done."

Work around Huntingdon included clearing vegetation from the Warren Hay walkway on the A141, and painting of the walkway finger post marking the route. Sign cleaning, removal of overgrowth from footways, trimming overhanging vegetation and painting of the railings along the Quay at St Ives has also been carried out by under the community payback initiative.