A KIDS’ play area which has been subject to thousands of pounds in damage over recent years has been targeted again - prompting councillors to issue an urgent appeal for information amid fears it will close to the public.
Millennium Park, on Acorn Way in Grimethorpe, was identified as one of the worst-hit areas in Barnsley and had almost £30,000 lavished on it five years ago when yobs set fire to its equipment.
Police responsible for the village - who are based at Cudworth station - have been urged to act due to fears the play area could be closed for good due to its reputation and costly clean-up bills.
Coun Ashley Peace, who represents the North East ward, said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to once again see the Millennium Park in Grimethorpe become such a hotspot for vandalism, in recent weeks and months.
“We’ve once again seen kids’ equipment damaged, the obelisk covered in even more graffiti, and rubbish being dumped in the vicinity of the park.
“Working with officers and residents, myself, Coun Jeff Ennis, and Coun Anita Cherryholme are committed to restoring the park and surrounding areas to a place the whole community can take pride in.
“Those responsible need to be shown that their actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“I’m hopeful that by working closely with South Yorkshire Police, we can identify those responsible.
“Monies have already been sourced for the cleaning of the obelisk, but delays have been caused as specialist cleaners are required.”
Saul Homes’ 97-property build on Willowgarth High School’s land, on Brierley Road, yielded £155,755 in Section 106 money - cash put aside for the loss of amenity - and some was spent improving local parks such as Millennium Green.
However, it’s regularly been targeted since its opening more than two decades ago, with residents complaining of smashed glass bottles, dog fouling, litter and fires being started by teenage vandals.
Coun Peace confirmed public bins could be installed to keep the area tidier - but warned no overnight fixes will be seen unless vandals are stopped.
“We are currently in the process of reviewing the public bins we have throughout the North East ward and this will include looking at the location and size of bins we currently have and determining if they are fit for purpose - we have already earmarked several locations that would better serve the community and ensure areas are kept tidier,” he added.
“This won’t all be fixed overnight, but we will do all we can to get what is needed as quickly as possible.
“This autumn, we will also see trees planted throughout the village - I hope these are left to grow and further enhance our green spaces.”
Although police will visit the park on their patrols, Barnsley Council - which is responsible for the play area - urged locals to report any matters of vandalism.
“Sadly, a small minority of people think that this kind of behaviour is acceptable,” they said.
“Acts of vandalism and littering spoil our parks, and adds unnecessary strain on the work of our parks team.
“If anyone knows any information about those responsible for causing this damage, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has continued to respect our parks and green spaces.”