Town hall officials say they are “extremely disappointed” after a group of youths vandalised recently planted trees.
The trees which line Bradshawgate in Leigh town centre were wrecked by youngsters on Monday evening, who were seen climbing over the trunks and smashing the multi-coloured lights which cover the branches.
One resident saw youths “taking the trees apart with the lights and throwing the bulbs.”
The trees were planted as part of a £5m investment plan for the town, involving regeneration work at various locations. They were one of the first pieces of the redevelopment puzzle to be completed, and are adorned with LED lighting to create a more scenic experience for local firms and visitors to the town centre.
Emma Barton, assistant director for economy and regeneration, said: “We are aware of this incident and are extremely disappointed.
“The new trees were part of regeneration plans to improve and spruce up the town centre and are newly planted. We have CCTV footage of the incident and will be doing what we can to catch the culprits.”
She added: “We are grateful to the member of the public who picked the lights up and our teams will be repairing them.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that officers were called to reports of anti-social behaviour involving a group of youths at around 7.35pm on Monday January 29. However, having reviewed surveillance footage themselves, they revealed they would not be investigating further after determining that no criminal offences had taken place.
Bradshawgate has found itself at the centre of the anti-social behaviour debate in recent weeks when the McDonald’s outlet on the same street caused controversy by banning unaccompanied youngsters from sitting in the restaurant in the evening.
The bold move by McDonald’s bosses split the opinion of local residents.