Anger after Gorse Hill play park is trashed by vandals
RESIDENTS have spoken of their anger after a children’s play park was dismantled and vandalised by youths.
The children’s swings, climbing frame netting and tyre swing have all been completely removed from the play area in St Mark’s Recreation Ground, Gorse Hill, following repeated acts of vandalism.
Profanities were also sprayed onto the benches and other equipment left standing in the small park, behind Beatrice Street, and the council has said it will look into replacing what has been damaged – although it may be too costly.
Ruth George, of Beatrice Street, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years, said the loss of the swings was the last straw.
“I love this area and I don’t want to watch it get torn apart,” she said.
“It’s despicable and I’m disgusted that this has happened to such a lovely park, which is for the small children.
“It used to always be busy but the damage has been done over a period of six months, until in the last couple of weeks they took the swings and then the chains, and so there is nothing left for the kids to use.
“It’s 19 and 20-year-olds, too so they are not even kids – they are men and are supposed to be the future, but they are ruining the park for the younger generation.
“And the dog mess in the sand pit is disgusting, too – little toddlers come and play in it and pick it up. It’s awful.”
Katherine Bull, 25, of Gorse Hill, visited the park with her three-year-old godson Alfie Mills, but was disappointed to see it in an unusable state of repair.
She said: “We came here expecting to see swings and for them to be able to play in the park, but it had been pretty much destroyed.
“You should be able to bring children to the park in your local area and not have to drive across town to somewhere like Lydiard.
“It’s a lovely area around here and we used to have so much fun when I was young so it’s such a shame to see it like this now.
“I think perhaps they could put security cameras up or the police could do patrols in the park.”
A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “It is incredibly disappointing when this sort of thing happens.
“We will investigate the cost of replacing what has been damaged or has gone missing, and we would hope to be able to put the park back to how it should be, but clearly we can’t afford to do this repeatedly, as it will cost thousands of pounds a time.
“If anyone sees anything suspicious in any of our play parks, we would urge them to report it to us.”
To report vandalism to the council, contact StreetSmart on 445501 or call police on 101 with information that could lead to a prosecution of those responsible.