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CCTV call as memorial tree is vandalised at Wigan park

The tree on Workers' Memorial Day and after the vandalism
The tree on Workers' Memorial Day and after the vandalism

A tree planted at a Wigan park as a memorial to people who died through their employment has been vandalised.

All the branches were ripped off the tree at Mesnes Park.

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It was planted by the Friends of Mesnes Park and a service is held there every April on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Wigan Central councillor George Davies said: “I think it’s sad. This is a childish act.

“There is a little plaque underneath the tree as it’s for the workers’ memorial. It’s remembering not just the hundreds and hundreds of people in Wigan, but the thousands of people who have died in the workplace. It’s shameful.”

Coun Davies renewed his call for CCTV cameras.

Last year there were several incidents of vandalism, including windows smashed at Mesnes Park Lodge and plants damaged in the rose garden.

There were also problems with drug taking, loose dogs and even bricks being thrown at council staff.

Coun Davies said: “I believe in making sure a park like Mesn es Park, which is the jewel in the crown in Wigan with so many events in the park, needs CCTV.

“I’m asking as a local councillor. I’m going back to the officers and police because we have got to get these cameras on board to make sure our people there are safe.

“I have had enough of the anti-social behaviour.”

Penny McGinty, assistant director of corporate contracts and assets at Wigan Council, said: “We are always disappointed when mindless vandalism occurs as it is unfair on those who work hard to maintain our local community spaces. We’re especially saddened to hear that this has happened to a tree that has sentimental value.

“We do have CCTV coverage in Mesnes Park and our team is investigating the incident but we are encouraging residents to come forward with any information around the date or time this took place as it may help us find the perpetrator.

“Our street scene team have cleared away the glass and debris left behind but we would like to remind the community to look after our green spaces so they are in a good condition for everybody to enjoy.”

Call 101 or email communities@wigan.gov.uk with information about the incident.