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Regional daily readers to decide how convicts carry out punishment

Steve BesantThe way in which convicts carry out their punishment is set to be decided by a regional daily’s readers.

North East Lincolnshire Council has enlisted the help of the Grimsby Telegraph to help with its community payback team, which sees offenders tasked with undertaking projects such as alley clearance, removal of graffiti and tidying up waste ground.

Members of the authority’s scrutiny panel for safer and stronger communities called on the Telegraph to invite readers to nominate community service projects they would like to see the team carry out.

The proposal, which has been accepted by the newspaper, follows on from a similar scheme previously held several years ago.

Councillor Steve Beasant, pictured above left, told a meeting of the panel: “I welcome Payback. There was a spread in the Grimsby Telegraph where people voted for which projects they wanted to see done. There is no reason why we can’t talk to the Telegraph again.”

He added: “We need to have public confidence in the scheme.”

Cllr Hazel Chase, the council’s portfolio holder for safer communities, said: “We are using Community Payback every Wednesday. They are inundated with requests for cleaning, removing graffiti and clearing alleys.

“They have more than they can cope with. I take my hat off to them. They do a fantastic job.”

Grimsby Telegraph editor Michelle Lalor said she would be “delighted” to work with the scheme again in the future.