Agenda item

Community Payback

To provide Members with a summary of the role of the Community Payback Service and a joint working initiative to improve the street scene environment with the town centre.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the new Members to the Committee and gave an introduction as to how he wanted the Committee to be run and how they should all work together apolitically during their time on the Committee.

 

Members were provided with a summary of the role of the Community Payback Service and a joint working initiative to improve the street scene environment within the town centre

 

The Assistant Director Environment advised Members of the background information relating to the Community Payback Service Scheme and the benefits of it to the Community.

 

The Community Payback Manager – KSSCRC was welcomed to the Committee and he delivered a presentation to Members explaining who the KSSCRC were and what rehabilitation services they could offer Gravesham (please see supplementary).

 

Following the presentation, the Community Payback Manager – KSSCRC fielded questions from the Committee explaining that:

 

  • Roughly 50% of those in custody re-offend but a more accurate statistic of reoffenders in Gravesham can be circulated via the Assistant Director Environment

 

The Chair invited Andrew Young to address the Committee and offer his insights into the Community Payback Scheme.

 

The Committee were in agreement that the service was very worthwhile as it helped clean up Gravesham while also giving ‘service users’ work to do and knowledge to help gain future employment.

 

The Assistant Director Environment suggested the following locations, to the Committee, that could benefit from the work of the service:

 

  • Love Lane alleyway – It is a long alleyway around the back of Wellington Street that is often used by school children and is in disrepair with litter and overgrown shrubbery 

 

  • River Walk – The River Walk is a walkway along the river running in two sections from the Town Pier through to Clifton Marine Parade.  The River Walk is very visible as the public and tourists frequently use it

 

  • Public right of way/Cycle Path near the Canal Basin heading East of Gravesend – The cycle path is heavily used by the public and there are several parts which have been neglected and need maintenance work such as litter picking and tree/bush trimming

 

The Committee agreed with three areas that were put forward but one Councillor countered on suggested that in respect of Love Lane alleyway; that the alleyway be incorporated into a wider area including the surrounding roads of Saddington Street, Edwin Street and Wellington Street etc. That the quadrant adjacent to the Gurdwara had many problems and would benefit from the service, the Councillor highlighted key problems:

 

·         The trees located on the pavement were unkempt and hung over the walkways

·         The wooden frames that surrounded the trees were broken in places The ‘No Flytipping’ signs were very old and needed replacing to make them more prominent and fitting in with the local area

·         The rubbish that is strewn across the pavements

·         Grass pockets which could be used for green activities such as flower meadows etc 

 

The Director (Environment & Operations) agreed that it would be a good idea to look expand the proposed work into this extended area and he advised that discussions would take place with the Community Payback Manager – KSSCRC to ensure this was viable going forward.

 

The Community Payback Manager was happy to hear the positive feedback from the Committee and advised that he looked forward to working with the Assistant Director Environment. He reminded the Committee that once the work is completed the maintenance of the area will fall under the responsibility of the Council as it would be counterproductive to have the ‘Service Users’ work on the same project.

 

Members endorsed the proposed approach for working with Community Payback and agreed to the locations for the scheme to operate within the Borough, put forward by the Assistant Director Environment. 

 

Supporting documents: