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‘Flaming’ disgrace

Thursday, 27 April 2017

‘Flaming’ disgrace thumbnailMid and East Antrim Mayor, councillor Audrey Wales, pictured with some of the burnt wood from the main play area in the People’s Park. GB1702D p1

ARSONISTS caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to one of the main play areas at People's Park in Ballymena on Sunday night.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, councillor Audrey Wales, branded the "mindless act of destruction" a "disgrace."
It is thought that the cost of the vandalism could exceed £65,000, a burden that will have to be met by local ratepayers.
Councillor Wales said: "The extent of the fire damage is significant and has meant that fencing will have to be erected around the whole multi-play area to keep children from entering.
“In effect, this mindless act means that our children are now being denied the chance to play outdoors throughout the summer months.
“It looks like the structure cannot be repaired as the uprights have been badly burnt making it structurally unsafe, which is a dreadful shame," said Cllr. Wales.
She added that the very earliest the structure could be removed and replaced will be well into the darker nights in the autumn.
“This kind of conduct is wholly unacceptable and I am very annoyed that this pointless act of sheer vandalism has destroyed a very important resource for our children.
“As we are now into the brighter nights when children should be outside enjoying the park, this is particularly galling," she added.
Pending reports, most if not all of the play area equipment will have to be demolished and replaced at consideration cost to the ratepayer.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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