No end to vandalism

John Belshaw and Sheila Livesey
John Belshaw and Sheila Livesey

A WIGAN beauty spot has been hit by vandalism more than seven times this year and community activists have had enough.

Members of Friends of Douglas Valley have been working to improve the valley and surrounding Bottling Wood area but over the last year there have been at least seven separate incidents of vandalism.

Cars have been abandoned and set fire to in the valley, graffiti has been sprayed on the new footbridge, signs have been trashed and dog fouling bags have been ripped from their dispensers and thrown on the floor.

The latest incident involves the vandalism of an ordnance survey map near to Tesco, in Central Park Way, which was funded by the National Lottery.

John Belshaw, member of Friends of Douglas Valley, said: “I would say that since March we have had as many as seven or eight incidents.

“The most recent has been the destruction of the present day ordnance survey map which is enclosed in perspex.

“We have six of these depicting the last 50 years, how the buildings have been created and how the population has grown.

“The present day one, which cost hundreds of pounds, has been broken and I have taken it home to repair myself.

“All we are trying to do is enhance the area, but then we get idiots who try and trash the place.

“It is just a joke - it just keeps going on and on.

“I have been in touch with Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and the chief executive of Tesco to help improve the area by the side of the store and install cameras to catch the vandals.

“That area is like a public toilet - it smells and there is lots of litter all the way along the side of the car park.”

A spokesman for Tesco said that bosses had received a letter from Mr Belshaw and where the land was owned by the company, they would do what they could to improve the space.

She said: “Some of the problem area lies outside where the customer lift is, so we will do some landscaping, use anti-vandalism paint and have put a fence in.

“We have listened to Mr Belshaw and we are doing everything we can to support the local community.”