A NEW £70,000 Runcorn playground that only opened three weeks ago has been vandalised.

Yobs have daubed paint all over Sanders Hey play area in Brookvale and wrecked one of the rides.

It had been closed for three years over safety concerns and has been completely refurbished thanks to a WREN grant and funding from Halton Council’s area forum and Your Housing Group.

Retired Kevin Fortune, aged 65, whose home overlooks the playground, said: “It is mindless vandalism. One swing had to be taken down it was so badly damaged. Cans of paint have been thrown all over the place. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Kevin, a member of the residents association, said the local community had come together to design the new playground.

Parents, teachers and children created models and pictures of the equipment they would like.

Kevin added: “Residents are sickened by this.

“It has taken a long time to get this project off the ground. People were crying out for somewhere for the children to play.

“It’s been wonderful to see them all smiling and having fun. It’s been absolutely chocker with little toddlers.”

The Mayor of Halton, Clr Margaret Ratcliffe joined housing and council officials to open the playground on April 22.

Runcorn police community support officers have pledged to increase patrols and keep an eye on the playground.

Your Housing community project officer Eddy Weston said: “We are really upset because of all the hard work which was put in from the community to create this playground. It was so well used by all the families in the vicinity.

“Children and parents had taken time to come forward with ideas and help us to build it.

“We are working with the police who have set they will increase patrols.
“Our contractors will be working next week to repair the damaged ride and the paint that has been spilled on the coloured flooring.

“Hopefully, this was just a one off and we will get it up and running again soon.”