Friday 25 November 2011

Community Payback covers council cuts in street sweeping

On top of concerns over unpaid youth labour in supermarkets comes the news that Brent Council is using Community Payback to cover the service gaps created by its street cleansing cuts and the impact of Autumn leaf fall.

The Kilburn and Brent Times this week (p6) reports a council spokesman as saying:
Brent Council focuses its resources on the road which are more affected, such as tree-lined streets, as residents would expect.

In areas of Kilburn, Queens Park and Brondesbury Park wards the council has worked with the probationary service to organise teams from Community Payback to clean up leaves in the area seven days a week for the past four weeks.
Community Payback is the scheme where offenders do community work from 6 hours a week to compensate the community for crimes they have committed.  It is usually done for charities and other causes nominated by local residents.

Looking at the Community Payback website there is no mention of local councils deciding what they should do and certainly nothing about them being used as unpaid labour to make up for council cuts.

Community Payback

The London Community Payback website states::

To be considered, your project must meet the following criteria:
  • It must benefit the local community
  • It must not take paid work away from others
  • No one must make a profit from the work
  • It must be challenging and demanding
  • It must be worthwhile and constructive
  • Offenders must be seen to be putting something back into the community.
Is this a misuse of the scheme?

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