A VANDAL hit play area has been left scorched by an arson attack causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Fire bugs set a sofa alight at Wombwell Park play area on Monday, July 30, which caused substantial damage to swings and the safety surface.
The blaze caused around £2, 500 worth of damage and is the latest in a catalogue of thefts and vandalism at the well-used park.
At the end of of June a stainless steel slide worth £3, 500 was stolen.
The slide structure was left dangerously sharp and had to be made safe by council officers.
The three ward councillors in Wombwell - Margaret Morgan, Denise Wilde and Richard Wraith - have slammed the yobs responsible and issued an appeal for information.
In a joint statement released this week, they said: “The park is well used and over recent years has seen a number of improvements thanks to the work of parks officers, friends group, and other members of the community.
“We can’t understand why someone would try to undo all the hard work by recklessly damaging the place.
“There are unprecedented and well-publicised pressures on council budgets, and it simply isn’t possible to continually replace damaged and stolen equipment.”
After landscaping the park, which hosts several annual events, Barnsley Council was planning further facilities such as an amphitheatre and a special swing for children with disabilities to use with an adult.
Brian Whittaker of the Friends of Wombwell Park said he was dissapointed but vowed that volunteers would continue their work to ensure the park remains a community attraction.
He said: “We have a lot of plans for the park and will continue to volunteer and fund raise to make sure it continues to be a great place for families to visit. Sadly, mindless acts like this do make you start to ask if it’s all worth the effort.”
Anyone who has any information about the fire or the theft should contact South Yorkshire Police by calling 101.