Merton Council in partnership with London Probation Trust has helped with clearing a vulnerable resident’s overgrown garden.
As part of efforts to improve the overall area in Grand Drive, a team of seven people on Community Payback, along with the council’s Community Engagement Officer John Ball, finished clearing the garden last week. Three tonnes of garden waste were transported to the council’s reuse and recycling centre in Garth Road to be turned into compost.
Other Community Payback initiatives which Merton has been involved with include painting out graffiti, clearing alleyways, helping to clear allotments and clearing local nature trails.
Merton Council director of environment and regeneration Chris Lee said: “Our partnership with the Probation Service is very productive and constructive. In this case it has been a successful alternative to taking enforcement action against a vulnerable person whose garden became unacceptably overgrown. It also offers people who have committed low level crime the chance to make a positive contribution to the community.”
London Probation Trust placement manager Fred Cox said: “This is a great opportunity for the offenders carrying out work in Merton to work for the benefit of a local resident. In this case, I’m really proud that we have managed to make a clear difference to the appearance of this garden, improving it both for the gentleman who lives there as well as his neighbours.”
Note to editors
Community Payback is the visible face of the unpaid work carried out by offenders and allows the public to suggest the projects to be undertaken. Community Payback in London is a partnership between London Probation, the Metropolitan Police Service and local authorities. Primarily a punishment, Community Payback benefits the community through the work undertaken and is an effective method of reducing re-offending.