Offenders are thanked for 'fantastic' job renovating benches in a Banbury park

Offenders who renovated 20 benches in a Banbury park as part of community service are thanked for doing a 'fantastic job’.
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The individuals have been given a huge vote of thanks by Banbury Town Council for their efforts.

The praise comes after a group of people who had committed a range of crimes renovated 20 benches and refurbished other equipment in the park as part of their penalty.

The task included cleaning, sandpapering and polishing woodwork, repainting metal surfaces and re-staining wooden fencing. Adding gold leaf designs was a notable skill that attracted a special mention.

Cllr Martin Phillips (right), Paul Almond (Banbury Town Council’s Environment Officer) with Jennifer Jenner and Terri Saunders at one of the renovated benchesCllr Martin Phillips (right), Paul Almond (Banbury Town Council’s Environment Officer) with Jennifer Jenner and Terri Saunders at one of the renovated benches
Cllr Martin Phillips (right), Paul Almond (Banbury Town Council’s Environment Officer) with Jennifer Jenner and Terri Saunders at one of the renovated benches

The results impressed councillors and council officers who said the offenders had done a remarkable job – something they should be proud of.

The community service project allows offenders to make amends in neighbourhoods they have harmed.

The Banbury group was supervised by probation officer Jennifer Jenner and overseen by placement coordinator Terri Saunders who said: “I think the group enjoyed doing something they can go back to in the future and say ‘I did that.’ It is something they can be proud of and feel a sense of achievement.

“Community service isn’t just a punishment. It can open doors to perhaps new careers or new interests that steer them away from crime.”

Cllr Martin Phillips, general services committee chairman, which oversees parks, said: “I was very impressed when I saw the finished project. It was a totally professional job and particularly impressive was the gold leaf work on some of the equipment.

“I doubt anyone could have done it better. Members of the public who use the park will appreciate the effort that has been put in.”