Vandals target new play area

23rd May 2011'Purston Park just received �50,000 worth of new equipment to help kids with disabilities play on the site and within days of it being installed, it was vandalised. Councillors and community members are disgusted by what's happened because it's depriving the children of what was a nice facility. 'Pictured L/R: Couns Kay Binnersley and Dick Taylor with sgnt Andy Loftus and Keeley Ridge'' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
23rd May 2011'Purston Park just received �50,000 worth of new equipment to help kids with disabilities play on the site and within days of it being installed, it was vandalised. Councillors and community members are disgusted by what's happened because it's depriving the children of what was a nice facility. 'Pictured L/R: Couns Kay Binnersley and Dick Taylor with sgnt Andy Loftus and Keeley Ridge'' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

OUTRAGED community leaders say they are “sickened” by vandal attacks at a Featherstone park playground given a £50,000 revamp last month.

Coun Kay Binnersley said new swings were damaged within days of being installed in Purston Park.

She said: “The new equipment that was installed – £50,000 worth – was damaged within 48 hours.

“It’s appalling. It’s all-inclusive equipment – so children in wheelchairs can use it – and it was only two days before the latches were taken off the gates and the big swing was broken. It’s beyond my comprehension.”

The refurbishment was part of a Wakefield Council project which received grant cash from the government’s Aiming High scheme in February.

Coun Dick Taylor said: “When I first head about it, I was sickened. It’s not little children that are breaking things, it’s older children.

“You would think they would be more thoughtful. I just find it incomprehensible why people would go around doing blatant vandalism. It’s very disappointing, especially to those who have jumped through all those hoops to provide something all the children could use.”

Fans of the Express’ Facebook page voiced their anger at the damage.

Nic Edwards said: “I had a terrible experience. The lovely new big swing was being used by a group of unruly teenagers who were mistreating the equipment and swearing and being overly loud. My kids love Purston Park and it’s a shame that some mindless idiots spoil it for the rest of us.”

Julie Rhodes said: “I actually thought the park was really nice when they did it, I took my kids and they loved all the new stuff. But there were some nasty teenagers there swearing and messing about. They ruin it for all the little ones. What’s the point in wrecking a kids’ park?”

Glynn Humphries, the council service director for the cleaner and greener department, said: “The mindless vandalism at the new play area is totally unacceptable and we urge anyone who has information about this to contact the police.

“Damage was caused to the basket swing set within days of the work being finished but has now been repaired by our playground team. As well as causing financial repercussions, the vandals’ actions spoil the play area and let down the community and its children.”