A Bolton councillor has said he does not want people on community orders doing work at a memorial garden due to his previous experience of it.

Councillor Craig Rotherham made the remarks after learning that the environmental team plans to re-engage with people doing court orders.

But he said he had previously found them “disrespectful” and unwilling to work without supervision at the Horwich memorial gardens.

An officer from the environmental team updated the Place Scrutiny Committee about how they planned to re-engage with those doing unpaid work.

She said that this had fallen away during Covid but that there were plans to restart it.

She also said they were due to get a rapid response team meaning that when work was required, people could be sent to carry it out within 48 hours.

But cllr Rotherham was dismissive of this suggestion.

He said: “On community payback I have engaged with these quite a few times and I have had more success with a wet paper bag.

“I had to throw them off the remembrance gardens because not only were they disrespectful, they did nothing.

“The problem I have seen in using them quite a few times is, if there is not the oversight, they become a hindrance.

“All I would say is unless there is proper supervision to make them do stuff I would seriously consider the value of these now because they know it’s just a day out and they will just sit around doing nothing.”

The officer said in response to that: “That is valuable feedback, I have not had that sort of feedback before.

“I will take that away and we will monitor that.

“The plans we have in place include ex-offenders who have got community service that they need to provide.

“They should have a supervisor with them.

“Perhaps what you are saying is that the supervisor is not as effective.”

At the same meeting, concerns were raised about the way in which the memorial gardens were being cleared up.