Praise for efforts of Community Payback team in sprucing up Broadstairs seafront

Success: Broadstairs Cllr Ruth Bailey, mayor Paul Moore and Mike Bridges of the Broadstairs Tourism & Leisure Association with Community Payback bosses and supervisors

People on the Community Payback scheme in Broadstairs have transformed benches, shelters, walls and fencing in and around the bandstand and Victoria Gardens.

The works, using materials paid for by the town council and Broadstairs Tourism & Leisure Association, have taken place over the year but now drawn to a close and the weather gets colder.

Locals and visitors have often stopped to thank the team for their efforts, showing how the work has been valued in the town.

This month the workers were visited by Jane Port, the payback schemes head for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Also on-site was East Kent manager Donna Leigh, team leader Danny Ward and site supervisor Dave Srevenson.

The Community Payback scheme involves completing unpaid work as a requirement of a court order. Individuals take part in projects in their community, such as picking litter, planting trees, decorating a community centre and other tasks.

Unpaid work as a sentence of the courts started in 1973 as ‘Community Service’. The work must benefit the local community/charities and not take paid work away from others.

Sentences of between 40-300 hours can be imposed and people on probation are likely to have other requirements alongside their unpaid work. Projects and placements aim to make a positive contribution to the community and allow those sentenced to make reparation. Local communities can nominate work projects.

The Broadstairs seafront project has involved the Community Payback team cleaning and painting to refurbish public spaces. This has included refurbishing the clock tower, cleaning and painting railings and re-painting dedicated memorial benches.

A Town Council spokesperson said: “The community response has been amazing and it’s great for persons on probation to receive the positive feedback from residents.

“The team has recently refurbished some memorial benches and we have had some special and emotional responses from the families saying thank you. The seafront area does get weathered so the project will provide us with plenty of work to come.”

Payback team leader Danny Ward said: “I have been doing this job for 22 and a half years and this is the best project for feedback and comments from the public on the job we have done.

“It is good to see we are making a difference and it gives the boys and girls a sense of worth. One young lady  said that when she comes down with her kids for the fireworks she can now show them something where she had made a difference in a good way.”


  1. Broadstairs is always looking so much cleaner and tidier than either Margate or Ramsgate. Well done to all those involved and I hope that you keep up the good work.

  2. Why do they not use the community payback scheme to repair the shelter on marine drive and the iconic one at then top of fort hill that has been vandalized by young people all the time the reason why maybe it was sorted out in Broadstairs it costs money for materials they get more money than Margate through council taxes.

  3. I did wonder if the community pay back teams had been abolished in favour of working unpaid in one of the many charities shops we have. It must be so much better for the pay backers to do something practical and positive like they have done to those shelters than be stuck in a shop. Well done to all.

  4. An absolute disgrace.

    This work should be undertaken by people employed directly by the council on trade union rates of pay and not by a slave labour workforce.

    And to top it off council officials are using the opportunity to get their mug shots in the local rag , taking credit for someone else’s work.

  5. The photo of council officials ! Why not a photo of the guys and girls that have done the work ! Theyre the ones who deserve the praise !

  6. The people involved on both sides are to be commended. My question is WHY is this NOT extended to those who are actually in prison, why are they not “paying back” their debt to society by doing something useful? the councils and government have financial restraints on so many levels, so why not use this “Workforce” to enhance the local communities and give the “Prisoners” a sense of belonging and actually earn their keep whilst severing their time. Maybe this will instil in some a sense of foreboding, but is it not better that their time is used constructively rather that being educated in shall we just say, “Different avenues????”

  7. Oh John Curtis – how do you think the council is going to pay? The work these people do would otherwise not be done with the funds the council has. Or would you be prepared to pay a higher council tax in order to pay the people you say should be doing this work? That is the reality these days – unfortunately councils throughout the country, not just TDC, simply do not have funds to pay for everything.

    But I also agree with the community service scheme. You do something wrong, you have to pay the price, one way or another and community service schemes such as this seem an excellent way of such persons repaying the community. And may well assist some of the offenders by introducing them to others in the community who could assist them or give them some sort of work experience.

    So John, please be realistic and don’t just criticise unless you can offer good, practical, alternative solutions.

    • Jane – very well said and articulated. I worked in South Russia before ‘wall came down’. I suggest Mr Curtis has absolutely no idea of suffering I saw of normal people under then Communist regime. Like a third world country then. I suggest Mr Cutis is another idealist living in the past with little experience of life outside of Thanet.

  8. Well done its good to see some maintenance carried out properly and hopefully the people carrying out the work taking some pride in the work they’ve done.

  9. Feel so sorry for them had to give up working because of the cold. Can we all give up work in the winter then.😂

  10. It all looks good we’ll done any chance of getting the lighting sorted it’s a bit to dark to walk through could the lampposts have a coat of paint as well

  11. Excellent work being carried out, however what is the actual cost of these criminals undertaking the work ie staff wages, enforcement action when the criminals dont attend ? why does it always seem to be Broadstairs, why not Margate they have plenty of railings that need fixing and painting?

  12. The community payback scheme is to allow people to put back something to the society that they have wronged. This work would not be done if left to the Council, so slave labour is typical socialist rhetoric!
    I do wish that the same could happen to brighten up Ramsgate in the same way as Broadstairs really does always look cleaner and better than the other Thanet towns.

  13. That is the difference between having its own town council they can do more there is an online petition for Margate to have its own town council so things like this can be resolved yet I read so much vile from people against this words like crooks corruption do these wingers actually live in the wards of Margate. Margate has always been missed out by TDC and KCC it’s time we moved forward.

  14. Getting a Town Council in Margate may not produce the same effect as in Broadstairs. Ramsgate has its own Town Council and is unable to tackle anything of significance. Broadstairs always seem to be able to get things done in a positive way. I wish the rest of Thanet was able to follow the Broadstairs model of town pride.

  15. Mike M as I mentioned recently Broadstairs gets more money in the way of share of council tax precepts which I don’t think is would help if Correspondents would say if they live in the wards of Margate.

    • Well Brian, that certainly does not seem fair. How can this be? Getting an answer from TDC might be a problem though. The issue of Margate becoming a separate council does not address the issue of the precept. This needs to be resolved separately and fairly. How can we go about doing this?

      • In that case, what causes the perceived differences between Broadstairs and the other Thanet towns. Broadstairs has always seemed to be ore able to present itself as a clean and vibrant place to be. Whatever it is, they should bottle it and give some to the other areas!

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