Council chiefs have hit out over continued vandalism plagueing two parks.
Horden Parish Council says with village’s Welfare Park and Memorial Park have been the repeated target of a minority of youths who are destroying play equipment and making them unusable for other children.
Further instances of vandalism and anti-social behaviour include, breaking play equipment which includes removing bolts from fixings, tearing up of safety surfacing, climbing on buildings, throwing stones at council staff, intimidation of members of the public and flower displays ruined.
The parish council purchased a basket swing for disabled children to use, but this was taken down a few days later after up to 12 children were regularly using it simultaneously, creating a safety hazard and acting as a magnet for anti-social behaviour and preventing other children from using it.
Parish councillors have approved the installation of a CCTV system in the Welfare Park in order to help prevent further incidents and the parish council are now awaiting planning permission to be considered by
Durham County Council before they can proceed.
Council chiefs say the continued vandalism put financial pressure on the council as it will ‘cost thousands of pounds to put right’ and it also could risk the parks being closed to the public.
Paul Davison, the clerk to the council said: “Residents are becoming angry that Horden’s parks are not being treated with the respect they deserve.
“The Memorial Park, which will host our annual Remembrance Sunday event in November, and the Welfare Park, which is the only parish council managed park in the country to have both a Green Flag and Green Heritage Award, are essential community assets for the village.
“Cotsford Park Play Area which underwent a £50,000 restoration two years ago has also been vandalised.
“Repeated vandalism in our play areas, places additional pressure on council finances and could jeopardise those play areas remaining open to the public.
“It will cost thousands of pounds to put right.
“In order to help keep your parks clean, tidy and safe, we would ask members of the public to help us by contacting the police if they witness any vandalism or anti-social behaviour so that together we keep Horden’s green spaces a clean, calm and tranquil environment that people of all ages can enjoy.”
If anyone has any further information on any incidents occurring in the parks, or elsewhere in Horden, contact Durham Constabulary on 101.