16:10 Friday 13 December 2013

Work nearly complete on arson hit park revamp

Written byROB SMYTH

PARENTS and youngsters who live in a Burton suburb are celebrating after work to repair an arson-hit play area continues to gather pace.

East Staffordshire Borough Council is in the process of returning Tower Woods play area to its former glory after vandals caused £3,000 of damage earlier this year, forcing the park to be closed and leaving its users disappointed.

However, youngsters in Brizlincote Valley now have not one, not two, but three reasons to celebrate because, along with work to rectify the fire damage, two other play areas close by have also been given a revamp.

A spokesman for Brizlincote Parish Council said: “East Staffordshire Borough Council has invested a considerable amount of money on improving play areas within the parish.

“The latest to be improved are the play areas in Franklin Close and Trevelyan Close to improve the play facilities for younger children in the parish.”

Although two areas have been revamped and work is under way to repair the site targeted by yobs, police are still trying to find those responsible for the act of vandalism.

Flames engulfed the site off Derwent Road in September and investigations by fire investigators and Staffordshire Police have discovered the blaze was a ‘deliberate act’.

There had been fire damage to a large number of wooden retaining posts, as well as some of the equipment such as stepping blocks and balance beams, as well as a large area of bark chippings.

The cost of repairing the damage is likely to be around £3,000.

Patricia Ackroyd, deputy leader for built environment at the borough council, said: “I would also encourage anyone with any information that could help catch the offenders to let the council or police know as soon as possible.”

A total of £35,000 was spent on improving the play area last year by the borough council.

The work came about after a report by the authority earmarked the site as being in need of a makeover.

Anyone who has information on the incident, or thinks they know who was responsible, is urged to call Staffordshire Police on 101.

They can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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