'Mindless' vandals destroy play equipment at park

PUBLISHED: 07:31 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 25 July 2019

Basket swings have been vandalised at Walford Avenue Park. Picture: Marc Aplin

Basket swings have been vandalised at Walford Avenue Park. Picture: Marc Aplin

Archant

A play area in Worle has had part of its equipment destroyed in 'an act of mindless vandalism'.

Walford Avenue park has suffered from acts of antisocial behaviour with two basket swings burned and destroyed.

Problems at the park have been long-running for people of North Worle for many years.

Youngsters were left without play equipment for several years after the space was left in disrepair over drainage issues in 2013, making it unsuitable to build on.

North Somerset Council engaged in an extensive public consultation with people of North Worle and St Georges the following year after earmarking £110,000 for new equipment.

MORE: £110k play area plans revealed.

A 5.5m-high climbing net with a slide and a zip wire was installed, with more play equipment, a bike track for toddlers and a picnic area added later, alongside a £50,000 concrete-surfaced skate zone.

Poor street lighting and no CCTV led to vandals using the park to drink alcohol at night and engage in antisocial behaviour.

MORE: 'Mindless' vandals cause £2,000 in damages at popular community play area.

North Worle councillor Marc Aplin said it is 'sad' youngsters have been left without a play area to enjoy.

He said: "It is sad we have people out there who would destroy play equipment enjoyed by local families.

"Not only does it mean children go without until a replacement is ordered, it's expensive and stops the council putting money into other services.

"We will speak with council officers, police, schools and work with the community to see what more we could be doing to tackle this."

Similar problems were reported in November when nearby Castle Batch park, in Bishop Avenue, had its roundabout set on fire by vandals, its swing set removed due to damage and a bin stolen.

MORE: Rise of antisocial behaviour and arson at children's park.

The council plans to replace the basket swings at Walford Avenue 'soon'.

A council spokesman said: "The basket swings were vandalised and they were taken down to make them safe.

"We will be replacing them as soon as possible.

"This was an act of mindless vandalism and we would urge anyone with any information to report it to the police."

PCSO Bailey will run a police beat surgery at the Coffee Lounge, in High Street, from 10-11am on August 14 which will allow people to raise their concerns.

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