Play area vandals blasted by council

The play area on Grasmere Street in Leigh
The play area on Grasmere Street in Leigh
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Council bosses have condemned vandals who forced the temporary closure of a borough play area.

Children’s swings and a ride at the playground in Grasmere Street, Leigh, were damaged as part of ongoing problems at the location.

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Safety matting was also ripped up, causing leisure officials to shut the play area for several days so repairs could be carried out.

Neighbours say gangs of between 20 and 30 young men have been hanging around the park at night.

Leigh Residents Association is planning a public meeting over the flashpoint and local councillors have been lobbied.

Loud noise from the park is said to have been disturbing the neighbourhood up to 11pm and beyond.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “Eight bags of rubbish were also removed from the play area by the council - it was disgusting.”

Resident have been urged by town hall chiefs to report the troublemakers and the police are also understood to have been informed on numerous occasions.

Penny McGinty, the council’s assistant director of corporate contracts and assets, said: “We share residents’ frustrations when vandalism occurs as clearing community spaces and replacing damaged equipment as a result of vandalism costs us money and it spoils our areas.

“We do not condone this kind of anti-social behaviour and we urge the public to come forward with any information so we can identify the culprits who have targeted the park with litter and disruption.

“The ground has now been resurfaced and the park (has been) reopened.

“We would like to reassure residents that we are doing everything we can to ensure the park is maintained to a high standard, including conducting weekly checks, and we ask the community to help us manage our green spaces so they can be enjoyed by everybody.

“We encourage any kind of anti-social behaviour to be reported to the police or our safer communities team so it can be investigated.”

The safer communities team is on 01942 404364 or neighbourhood police are on 101. Residents have also faced headaches with travellers camping on the former health centre site off Glebe Street.