Vandals could cause play area closure

CHILDREN'S play areas in and around Stowmarket are today facing the prospect of closure because the council cannot afford to keep repairing damage done by vandals.

CHILDREN'S play areas in and around Stowmarket are today facing the prospect of closure because the council cannot afford to keep repairing damage done by vandals.

The cost of damage done to playgrounds in Creeting Road, Combs Ford and the Recreation Ground skate park has come to a staggering £2,700 since the summer.

Mid Suffolk District Council revealed today it will struggle to be able to maintain the play areas if the problem continues and they may need to be closed for safety reasons.

Terry Willington, environmental services officer at the council, said: “Due to the number and severity of these incidents we really are struggling to sustain the cost of repairs.

“It is very sad that a few badly behaved individuals can jeopardise the enjoyment of these areas for families throughout the Stowmarket area.

“It is clear that these acts are done deliberately, without care for other resident's needs.”

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Councillor Roy Barker, said: “It is important that as a community we work together to help prevent the actions of a few, spoiling the enjoyment of all our residents.

“These play areas are a key feature in Stowmarket and generally they are well used and appreciated.

“We are in the process of investigating the installation of CCTV cameras in these play areas, to monitor activity and help identify perpetrators.”

Vandalism attacks at the play area in Creeting Road include large holes being made in the play wall and the theft of seats from play equipment.

Damage at the playground exceeds £1,200.

The Combs Ford play area has also been targeted and damage has been reported to the side panel of the support wall for the ball net at a cost of at least £1,000.

In addition, the skate park at the Recreation Ground has suffered graffiti and damage to the railings at the top of one of the jumps, costing approximately £500 to fix.

Anyone with information on vandalism is asked to call the council's Customer Service Direct number on 0845 606 6067.

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