Vandals trash kiddies’ playground

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VANDALS who went on the rampage at Wellholme Park, Brighouse, ripped up play equipment and left a trail of wreckage.

Children’s rides were damaged and defaced by grafitti in the play area at the park.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said the police had been asked to step up patrols in the area to stop the vandals.

Wellholme Park has Green Flag status and recently received special protection as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Councillor Stout said: “Such a lot of good work has been done to make Wellholme Park an attractive place for families to visit and this completely undermines it.

“The council has acted promptly to repair the damage but has had to spend money it can ill afford getting it put right.

“It’s easy to blame young people but some considerable force would have been needed to pull the rocking horse out of the ground.”

The rocking horse was hacked off its spring and thrown to one side, the sides of the toddlers’ slide was kicked in and other rides were defaced or damaged.

“At first we thought it might be the work of metal thieves but nothing was actually stolen - it was mindless vandalism pure and simple,” said Coun Stout.

Coun Stout said a small minority of youths congregated round the play area at weekends, drinking and smoking.

“It’s difficult because the skate park is a big hit and attracts young people. We want young people to come to Wellholme Park - but vandalism like this is unacceptable.

“As usual it is the actions of a small minority which have an impact on the majority.”

He appealed to people using Wellholme and living near to the park to be vigilant and report any incidents of vandalism.

Mick Wilby, playgrounds manager for the Lower Valley, said it had cost about £1,000 to put the damage right and make the play area safe after the weekend’s vandalism.

“There is an on-going problem with anti-social behaviour and we would welcome an increase in police patrols.”

n The Echo’s View:

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