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Less play area fire Published: Friday, 24th April 2020

Vandals have destroyed a children’s play area that has been closed to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Due to repeated arson attacks at the site it is now uncertain if the play equipment will be replaced once the restrictions around Covid-19 are lifted.

The substantial fire damage at Constantine Street in Lees, Lees Brook was discovered on Wednesday (April 22).

A bench had also been set on fire and destroyed.

The play equipment was originally installed in 2011 and this is the seventh arson attack since then.

Councillor Ateeque Ur Rehman, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “While the vast majority of our residents are staying at home, keeping safe and protecting the NHS someone has decided to break the lockdown and torch a children’s play area.

“It defies belief that someone would do this and leave our staff to clear it up – they are already working hard in difficult circumstances.

“Sadly, this isn’t the first time this park has been targeted by vandals and we’ll have to take a serious look at things in the future. Replacing play equipment isn’t cheap, especially at a time when money is needed elsewhere to support some of our most vulnerable residents.

“Although the play area is closed, as are facilities in all our parks, the vandals could have ruined things for local families who have used the play area for years.”

Anyone who has any information about the latest attack is asked to call the police on 101 or the council’s Environment Team on 0161 770 4067.

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