Anger over ampitheatre plant theft

Newly planted flowers at the amphitheatre, Knottingley, have been stolen.'Treena Dunn with other members of the community that helped plant the flowers.'p6045a132
Newly planted flowers at the amphitheatre, Knottingley, have been stolen.'Treena Dunn with other members of the community that helped plant the flowers.'p6045a132

ANGRY Knottingley residents are picking up the pieces after thieves stole plants from the town’s revamped amphitheatre site.

The amphitheatre – due to reopen on Saturday after two months of regeneration work by the community – was targeted last Tuesday night.

Residents, the town’s Warwick Women’s Community Group, Circle of Friends and Community Payback group planted £250 worth of flowers at the site – near Gaggs Bridge – in a bid to tranform it into a community space.

Treena Dunn, chairman of the Circle of Friends, said: “It is really disappointing because we are doing it for everyone else. The theives have taken around £40 to £50 worth of plants. I think it was someone who wanted them for their own garden.”

Knottingley Coun Graham Stokes said: “There is a small destructive element in society, we all need to work together so that projects like this can be completed for all the community to enjoy.

“The volunteers have done this work together, raising money themselves to pay for these plants. They must be feeling disillusioned and disappointed that this has occurred, however they will not let this prevent them from continuing to work towards the opening event.

“If anyone sees acts of vandalism at the amphitheatre they should tell the police immediately.”

Charlie Watson, community development and health practitioner at the primary care trust, led the amphitheatre clean-up project after he was approached by Knottingley residents.

He said: ““It is about the disappointment all those who have given their time and energy feel because of this mindless act, someone not thinking about the effect that their action has on others and the wider community.

“I have posted signs up there asking for people not to take any plants because they were paid for and planted by the community for the community.”

The amphitheatre was built in 1998 by British Waterways and Knottingley High School.

Volunteers have set up a Friends of Knottingley Amphitheatre group which is recruiting members to help preserve the site in future.