Vandal yobs force children’s play park to close in Peterlee

Peterlee councillor Andrew Watson (left) and Peterlee council groundsman with a closed sign at the childrens play area at Oakerside, Peterlee
Peterlee councillor Andrew Watson (left) and Peterlee council groundsman with a closed sign at the childrens play area at Oakerside, Peterlee

A CHILDREN’S play park has been closed until further notice after the seventh vandal attack on the facility this year.

Cash-strapped Peterlee Town Council has issued a “use it, don’t abuse it” warning after revealing the reckless damage is taking thousands out of the authority’s budget.

It comes after safety flooring at the kids’ play area, in Helford Road playing fields, was wrecked by yobs.

Passfield ward councillor Andrew Watson said: “The estimated repair bill is £1,500. The staff do a great job repairing it, but last time it got repaired, it was vandalised again within an hour.”

Free and Independent Representation (FAIR) Party representative Coun Watson said: “This is about the seventh time it’s happened this year and it closes the park every time.

“It’s a service for the people of Peterlee so we are trying our hardest to keep things going. But if we are spending money on this it is money taken away from other services.

“I will fight my hardest to keep the play area open for the children, it is well-used.

“It’s actually the vandals’ mums and dads paying for it in taxes, and it’s just mindless vandalism spoiling it for everyone.”

Coun Watson warned the teens believed to be responsible, saying: “Look after our facilities or lose them.”

Wayne Harriman, of Peterlee Town Council, said: “We are in the process of repairing the safety flooring.

“We urge local residents to please respect our property, we are simply spending too much money on renewing the rubber surfacing.

“Our message is don’t abuse facilities or there could be a danger of losing them.”

The latest attack happened around three weeks ago, and the park is expected to be out of bounds for up to three further weeks while repairs are carried out.

A Peterlee Police spokeswoman said: “We are keeping an eye on the area, with extra patrols.”

Last August vandals carried out a £13,000 wrecking spree on Peterlee parks.