PLAY AREA HIT BY VANDALS AGAIN
December 22, 2004
BY ALANA RAZZELL
DRUNKEN vandals have ruined a Sunninghill play area yet again after a bout of tile-throwing and door-removing plagued the recreation ground at the weekend.
Members of Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council are considering removing all facilities from Victory Field after the recreation ground’s cottage had its door removed and tiles were thrown from the pavilion roof on Friday evening.
The weekend’s vandalism is the latest incident in a long-running succession of booze-fuelled attacks on playing equipment and recreation facilities at the London Road ground.
Over the past few weeks vandals have wreaked havoc in the park and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, including burning a skateboard ramp, smashing garage roofs, kicking down the pavilion’s door and writing off the ground’s cottage.
This week the parish council revealed it was at the end of its tether and wanted to hear taxpayers’ views on how to resolved the situation as they are the ones footing the bill.
Alan Everett, clerk at the council, said: “Maybe the answer is to remove facilities from this area? But then why should residents suffer due to a few youths. Feedback from the local residents would be extremely helpful.”
Mr Everett has appealed to the police to help them track down the vandals, who are believed to be “beer swigging youths” visiting the site to binge-drink and cause chaos.
He added that it was unfair for ratepayers to be expected to foot the bill just because a handful of people could not use the facilities correctly.
The council has already written to the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police to ask for more help in sorting out the problem.
After trouble flared up in the summer Mr Everett told the Times he thought police spent too much time on problems in Windsor and Maidenhead meaning Ascot was often overlooked.
However, police have said they are committed to working with the parish council and community to alleviate the problem and Ascot community beat sergeant, Sgt Colin Pike, has written to publicans and traders to ask them to be vigilant when serving young-looking customers.
He also warned under-age drinkers and people boozing in the park’s no-alcohol zone that officers would have no qualms about confiscating drink from them.
Anyone with comments can call the parish council on (01344) 624754.