ANGRY parents have hit out at vandals who set fire to a sports pitch and strewed it with rubbish.
Townville Tigers Rugby Club, which runs junior teams for children from six to 13, found a large scorch mark on the pitch, the site littered with cans and a tent pitched on the field last Thursday night.
Russell Chalkley, touchline manager, said the club had been experiencing problems with vandalism and dog fouling on the pitch as a result of missing metal fence panels and broken locks, meaning the site – which is maintained by Wakefield Council – has been unsecured.
He said: “We sent a letter to the council about six weeks ago requesting new locks and fence panels, but heard nothing. It’s an easy fix – but at the moment dog walkers are using it and letting their dogs foul the pitch, and vandals are littering it.
“The club is entirely voluntary, all the money we raise goes to keep it running and buying new equipment, but things like this take the money away from that. We’ve had to go in and clear all this up, dig out the burn marks and reseed it.”
Glynn Humphries, the council’s service director cleaner and creener, said: “A council officer visited the club on Friday to replace the gated entrance and install new locks to ensure that the site is now secure.
“We are working with the neighbourhood policing team, which is increasing patrols in the area, to help tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour.
“The council takes a zero tolerance approach to vandalism and anti-social behaviour. If anyone has any information or witnesses such acts, please report it to the council by calling 0845 8506 506.”
The council also said it had not received the club’s earlier letter about the security problems.
Mr Chalkley added a council officer was due to visit next week to arrange to replace the missing fencing panels, which the club has now temporarily blocked with wooden panels.