Highways benefit from Somerset offenders payback scheme
Offenders taking part in a Community Payback scheme have completed 1,500 hours of work on low-priority highway maintenance activities in Somerset.
Somerset County Council has been working in partnership with the Probation Service to trial using offenders to help tidy up the streets.
The scheme identifies appropriate highway maintenance jobs – like removing weeds and vegetation from footpaths – in suitable, safe locations which can be completed by the offenders, but which are otherwise considered a low priority.
This saves taxpayers money and frees up council resources to complete higher priority work to ensure the highway network is safe.
One big job that was recently completed in the Sedgemoor district area was the clearing of the footway link alongside the A38.
Over 19 shifts, participants collectively completed approximately 800 hours of work; clearing the overhanging foliage and ploughing the footway (removing dirt and weeds), from Junction 22 to the county border at Bleadon.
Another location to benefit is alongside the A38 between Taunton and Wellington.
Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for Highways, said: “This Community Payback Scheme started as a trial and has proven a real success story.”
The idea for the scheme was first put forward by County Councillor for Brent Bob Filmer.