Vote for area to be cleaned up 

18/10/10

Residents in Bolton can vote on how they would like to see offenders pay for their crime.

The public can choose between five different clean-up projects in Bolton’s Community Payback scheme.

The scheme was launched last year and work is carried out by offenders on the programme, whose punishment involves reparation work within the community.

Bolton Council together with Bolton Probation have now drawn up a shortlist of five grot-spots following feedback from the community.

Residents can choose from the site of the old Bridge Pub, Blackburn Road; the back of Bradford Street, Farnworth; the Old Railway Cutting off Deane Church Lane; the back field off Knutshaw Crescent and Fred’s Triangle opposite the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre on Radcliffe Road.

Offenders are required to wear high-visibility orange jackets and will be carrying out labour-intensive work on whichever scheme in chosen. The work could include hacking dense undergrowth or clearing rubbish. 

In 2009 residents voted for the Churchgate Subway - a thoroughfare used by local residents, town centre workers and shoppers - to be cleaned up by offenders.

Councillor Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Cleaner, Greener, Safer, said: “I would urge residents to vote as this is a real opportunity for the public to have their say on a scheme which can benefit the community.

“Community Payback makes sure offenders pay for what they have done and residents see that they are paying back for their crimes.

“The town centre subway that won last year has been completely transformed and this just shows what a positive impact this scheme can have in a local area.”

Harvey Scowcroft, chair of a local residents’ action group, added: “We were very pleased with the end result which really brightened up the area as it is used by many people as an important route into the town centre.”

The voting lines for this year’s scheme open today (October 18) and close on October 31. The winning project will be announced in November.

The successful scheme will be managed by the Greater Manchester Probation Service.

Bob Cadwallader, Community Operations Manager from the Probation Service, said: "I am delighted the people of Bolton will be able to take part in deciding which projects are completed by offenders because it is vital that justice is seen to be done, and that offenders pay back to society by tackling work that is relevant to the communities we live in.

"Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law, rigorously supervised and enforced by probation. It is also a way for offenders to make up to the community and victims for the harm they have done.

"Community Payback in Bolton is a success, our latest figures show that in August 79 per cent of offenders completed Community Payback - that's nine per cent above the national target."

Full details of the five schemes:-

(1) The site of the old Bridge Pub, Blackburn Road, Crompton - Following the demolition of the Bridge Pub a few years ago this area has become disused. Offenders will be removing all the debris, picking up litter, cutting back the overgrown shrubs and restoring the footpath.

(2) The back of Bradford Street, Farnworth - The back alley leading through to Valdene Drive and Back Worsley Road is overgrown and blighted by rubbish and litter. Offenders will need to remove litter, weeding and restoring the footpath.

(3) Old Railway Cutting, off Deane Church Lane - Offenders will need to clear away rubbish, cut back greenery and remove litter and fly tipping to transform this railway area off Deane Church Lane near to St Helen’s Road.

(4)  Our Back Field’ off Knutshaw Crescent, Hunger Hill - This area is blighted by litter, fly tipping and overgrown shrubbery. Offenders will need to clear rubbish, remove overgrown greenery, renovate footpaths and dredge the pond.

(5) Fred’s Triangle, Radcliffe Road, The Haulgh - This beauty spot, situated opposite the The Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre will need offenders to clear rubbish, litter and trim back overgrown foliage to restore this beauty spot to its former glory.

To vote for the scheme, residents need to call 0800 197 4611 for the old Bridge Pub, Blackburn Road; 0800 197 4612 for Bradford Street, Farnworth; 0800 197 4613 for the Old Railway Cutting, off Deane Church Lane; 0800 197 4614 for the back field off Knutshaw Crescent and 0800 197 4615 for Fred’s Triangle, Radcliffe Road.

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Salma Nakhuda
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