HEARTLESS vandals have put Thurcroft children at risk after damaging part of a playground and skate park, councillors claimed this week.
Thurcroft Parish Council chairman Coun Jeb Nightingale branded those responsible for cutting down a wire safety fence as ‘idiots’, while Coun Brenda Jennison said they were fighting a losing battle against vandals.
“When they cut it they left pieces jutting out. Any children running through there could take their eye out or injure themselves. They (the vandals) have no sense for safety. They are idiots,” said Coun Nightingale.
In the last three weeks, vandals have damaged guttering around the Gordon Bennett Memorial Hall, covered the skate park in graffiti and ripped safety matting up under playground equipment.
Coun Nightingale said: “They have dug out the safety matting. We have been forced to take down two swings as a result. If the children had fallen off they would have landed on the ballast.”
“They have damaged the guttering around the back of the hall. We keep having to replace that regularly.”
But it is the wire fencing which has caused councillors the most concern.
“The one which we are really concerned about is the long stretch of wire protecting the skate park and football pitch from the playground,” added Coun Nightingale.
“It was very expensive. It has been cut in two sections. It is all costing money when we could be spending this money on other things. We are having to fork out to replace it all.”
Coun Brenda Jennison felt as though the council was fighting a losing battle.
She said: “We keep trying to do things for Thurcroft and everything keeps getting vandalised.”
“It is just disgusting. They are ruining things and spoiling them for other children.”
She said that youths regularly gather around the playground.
She added: “It’s not getting any better and I don’t think it will.”
“We are fighting a losing battle. There is just no getting through to them.”