Fury at more vandalism

Coun George Davies, left, and John Belshaw next to the scene of a wheelie bin fire under the bridge at Tesco
Coun George Davies, left, and John Belshaw next to the scene of a wheelie bin fire under the bridge at Tesco

VANDALS have come under attack for targeting a Wigan beauty spot.

Over recent months yobs have vandalised the area surrounding the walkway from Swinley, Bottling Wood and Whelley to the town centre.

And in their latest spree, they have ripped a dog fouling bag dispenser, which costs £85, from its pole in Central Park Way.

John Belshaw, 60, a member of The Friends of Douglas Valley, said he was disappointed vandals had stolen the dispenser, especially as the group have been working hard to improve the area and encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets.

He said: “We are trying to make the area nice and install these dispensers as we have had a problem with dog fouling in the area and these mindless idiots spoil it.

“It is a complete waste of money. The dispenser has been unscrewed and as it is on a main road we think someone must have seen something.”

Before Christmas, Mr Belshaw reported that arsonists were setting fire to wheelie bins, which had burnt tiles under the bridge close to the same site.

He added: “There must have been at least half a dozen wheelie bins set on fire, which have damaged the coloured cladding and the structure of the bridge. This needs sorting out.”

Ward councillor George Davies, who is currently working with residents to encourage dog owners to use pooper scoopers and dog fouling bags, has been working with Wigan Council and the North Forum to replace the dispenser and to install security measures.

He said: “We need a new dispenser and this time it needs to be welded on.

“We do provide some dispensers at libraries but they are handy in the Bottling Wood area, where people walk their dogs.

“When people clean up their dog mess they can deposit the bags in the bins that we provide. Not everyone can get to the libraries.

“Action needs to be taken and we are working together to make the area a cleaner, greener and safer place to live.

“I am having a meeting with Coun David Molyneux and the North Forum team to see if we can install some lighting columns underneath the bridge.

“We also need to speak about getting a camera installed.”

The local community police have been informed about the incidents and are investigating.