COUNCILLORS have said if vandalism in parks continues in Barnsley, slides, swings and more will have to be ‘taken away’ due to repeated damage.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman for regeneration and culture made the comment after vandalism took place at Bank End Park in Worsbrough, adding that the continuing cost of repairing damage to play areas is having an impact on the council.

The Worsbrough park incident saw the safety surfacing underneath some of the play area equipment ripped up by unknown culprits - meaning the area needs to be repaired.

The damage done to the park play area follows various incidents of vandalism over the last year - including graffiti and arson attacks - which Coun Cheetham said is becoming a regular thing.

In particular, Coun Cheetham said Bank End Park has had to be repaired in previous years and is ‘one of many hotspots which are consistently targeted across the borough’.

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“Vandals have mindlessly ripped up the safety surfacing underneath some of the equipment in the children’s play area in Bank End Park,” said Coun Cheetham.

“Sadly this is not an isolated incident. We have previously repaired the same area in 2017.

“We will look to repair the site again as soon as possible but the money spent on repairs could be better spent on new equipment in the parks for our residents, particularly young children, to enjoy.

“If these incidents continue, we may have to take equipment out of the parks as we will be unable to afford the costs of the repairs.”

Speaking about the incident in Bank End Park, independent Coun Jake Lodge said he and other people in the community will clean up the park but said there could be a possibility of the community of Worsbrough losing the park.

He said: “The damage at Bank End Park was caused over the last weekend, I spotted it on the way to my regular surgery, having taken my daughter to the park the previous day, I knew it was a very recent act.

“I have fought hard to get resources for parks around Worsbrough and have agreed that the council will provide paint, brushes, cleaning equipment and in return myself and others will clean the park up.

“I contacted the parks department about this damage and they may be able to rectify it, but, can’t continue to do so and we may lose the park if it isn’t looked after in the future.

“It is a real shame, as it is becoming a focal point in our community with various events being hosted there, including the healthy holidays campaign.

“I hope action is taken to rectify the issue as soon as possible, as our first healthy holiday is just over one month away.

“I want to see the vandals help us rectify their damage and show them that they don’t have to commit acts like this.”

Coun Gill Carr, of the Barnsley Independent Group, added: “That area has had a lot of damage done to it over the years.

“We put two new bins in there a couple of years back and within weeks we had to take them back out because they had been smashed up.

“That cost us £500 for the cost of the bins and the maintenance.

“The council can’t keep affording to fix this.”