Carlisle MP visits Community Payback Project
27th May 2011
John Stevenson, Conservative MP for Carlisle visited a project today to see offenders making reparation for their crimes through the Community Payback Scheme.
The project at Bright Street, in Carlisle involves social landlord Riverside, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria Probation Trust working together with the aim of restoring a piece of disused land which was once a bowling green and had fallen into disuse.
Offenders, supervised in groups of between six and eight, will carry out ground clearance work and repaint the railings at the site over the coming months as punishment for their crimes. This work provides them with a very real opportunity to give something back to the community.
Project co-ordinator, Tracey Edmondson who is a Housing Officer with Riverside said: "Riverside's vision is to transform lives and revitalise neighbourhoods; this local project shows our vision in action. The individuals working on the project benefit from the experience and the local environment is improved for the community. When agencies work together in partnership we can achieve so much and deliver projects like this. We are always looking for opportunities to work with other community partners delivering together what in isolation we cannot."
Whilst visiting the project John Stevenson met with representatives from the three agengies and also spoke to the offenders carrying out this work as a requirement of their Court Orders. He said, "I had an informative morning visiting the project. It is good to see such worthwhile work being so successful and I would encourage similar projects being replicated around the city. The young people that I spoke to were benefiting from the experience and the opportunity which the project had provided for them to give something back to their community and make reparation for their crimes."
Local residents complained to the Council about the state of the railings and that the enclosed area attracted a lot of anti-social activities. A local resident, Jill Turner said: "We suggested that this area could be cleared up by offenders on Community Payback. We are all delighted to see that it is getting some much needed attendtion so that in the future it will be a safe environment for our children to use."