Clinic attacked by arsonists

A CLINIC undergoing a major makeover has been targeted by arsonists in Ipswich today.Whitton Clinic, which is currently being transformed into a Sure Start Children's Centre, was hit by fire at about 2.

A CLINIC undergoing a major makeover has been targeted by arsonists in Ipswich today.

Whitton Clinic, which is currently being transformed into a Sure Start Children's Centre, was hit by fire at about 2.30am today.

Susan Warner, caretaker at the Merdeith Road clinic, said it was not the first time yobs had targeted the health centre.

She said: “We always have loads of problems here and have had windows smashed, painting on the walls and stones chucked at people.

“Youngsters sit outside and smoke their drugs and do what they like and you can't say anything because you get abuse all the while.”

Today's fire destroyed two wheelie bins and a window outside the clinic and caused slight smoke damage to the inside.

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Builders were today due to start work on the part of the building affected but said their plans now may be delayed.

The building is still being used for baby clinics, mother and toddler groups and by health visitors while work goes on to transform it.

When complete it will become a one-stop shop for families with parenting support, drop-in sessions and toy libraries.

Mrs Warner added: “The children that hang around are 15, 16 and younger and they bring their baby brothers.

“This centre will be for their families. It is ridiculous and doesn't give you any heart.”

Mrs Warner said soon after builders had moved in January someone had broken into the site and tried to steal mechanical equipment.

There has also been other attempts to set fire to wheelie bins.

Fire crews from Colchester Road and Princes Street attended today's blaze.

The fore was under control by 3am.