Girls hunted after Ulverston playground fire
Last updated at 16:41, Wednesday, 18 July 2012
A CAMPAIGN group has been set up in a bid to raise money to replace playground equipment damaged by a fire.
Vandals burned down a wooden castle at Croftlands play area, in Central Drive, early on Sunday morning. The cost of replacing the equipment, which was built last April, has been estimated at around £8,500.
Police are looking for two girls, aged approximately 14, and describe one of them as about 5ft 4ins, skinny and wearing a hoody.
Billy Athersmith, crew manager at Ulverston fire station, said: “There is no way it could have started on its own – it was definitely started deliberately. The whole thing was well alight when we got there.
“A couple of lads were there, who said they were trying to put it out, and they said there was newspaper at the bottom of the castle.”
Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe said he heard two girls had been overheard bragging about having started the fire. He went to the play area on Sunday morning to view the damage. He said: “I took a look and saw some paper there and what appeared to be a pink plastic handbag.”
Andrew Rattigan, who runs Feature Youth Club at Croftlands Community Centre, said he would spread the word to see if anyone in the community has any information about the fire.
He said: “We would like to know who did this because we use that park regularly – it really is frustrating.
“What is annoying is there has been so much work in that area of the community and it is a bit of a slap in the face.”
Croftlands Castle Community Project – a Facebook group, was set up yesterday. The first post, by the individual who created the group, said: “Ok, so bad stuff happens, but it's the minority not the majority that cause it... Can we get together and raise money to get this project going and repair our playground?”
SLDC councillor Graham Vincent, portfolio holder for communities and wellbeing, said it is not standard practice to insure playgrounds against damage because of high premiums. But he insisted funding would be available to help restore the play area.
He said: “We are going to have to do it and if the community is able to raise some funds to help then we will absolutely match it.
“People have already come forward with the offer, which I think is wonderful, and we would be very keen to support them in any way we can.
“The play area is a flagship project for us and I think what has happened is unbelievably shameful.
“I would be so pleased to have the support of the community that I can go and get the rest of the funding, which I am convinced we will be able to do.
“It is very pleasing the community actually value something enough to want to mount some sort of rescue effort.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact PC Shaun Conway on 101.
l An anonymous Ulverston resident has offered a £100 reward for information leading to the arrests of the culprits.
First published at 16:17, Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Wrecking your own neighbour hood, didn't know you could get as low as that, seriousley..
When they do find the offenders, they should pay to have the castle replaced. Not just a small fine. I know the parents will have to fork out for it, but so be it. It's their responsibility. They won't do it again of they have to pay Â£4250 each, but they would if given a caution, or small fine.
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