Young van­dals dam­age Soroba swing park

The Oban Times - - News - CAMERON GRAY ed­i­tor@oban­

SOROBA com­mu­nity groups were ‘sad­dened’ af­ter ‘sense­less’ van­dals dam­aged a chil­dren’s swing park.

Van­dals ripped up the soft tar­mac floor­ing un­der the swing set, twisted and re­moved fence rungs and pulled benches out the ground which were bolted down.

Soroba Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Oban said on its Face­book page: ‘Very sad to see the newly laid safety Tar­mac ripped up and strewn out­side the play area. Rub­bish left ly­ing about too. This area is for ev­ery­one’s en­joy­ment but is be­ing ru­ined by some sense­less in­di­vid­u­als.’

Vivian Ritz, the com­mu­nity care­taker for Ar­gyll Com­mu­nity Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ACHA), has had to do a daily safety check fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent. The acts of van­dal­ism started over the week­end and be­came worse on Mon­day last week, dur­ing the pe­riod of sunny weather.

Vivian said: ‘It’s re­ally well used. That’s why it is so up­set­ting.

‘There’s a younger group that are just ras­cals, but there is an older group who are van­dals.

‘The big­ger ones who do it know full well what they are do­ing. They are caus­ing may­hem and dan­ger.

‘The younger ones do not see the big­ger pic­ture, that some­one has to pay for it.’

Vivian said ACHA was in ‘a run­ning bat­tle for the fence’ adding, ‘I do not know how many rungs we have had to re­place. Dur­ing the sum­mer, it’s weekly.’

The swing has had to be ca­ble tied to the frame as it would be un­safe for chil­dren to use and it could be some time be­fore re­pairs are made. Vivian said: ‘Be­cause of the na­ture of the stuff, we are go­ing to have to get some­one up from Glas­gow. It will be ex­pen­sive.’

Soroba Young Fam­ily Group also ex­pe­ri­enced a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent af­ter re­turn­ing to the play­group fol­low­ing the week­end as sand had been flung around its out­door play-space. CCTV footage re­vealed that a group of chil­dren had scat­tered the sand and two boys were caught ly­ing on the play­house roof.

The gar­den was grant-funded by Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and is used for dif­fer­ent learn­ing and ac­tiv­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The group is hop­ing to share the space with the com­mu­nity and de­velop it into a gar­den area where chil­dren can grow veg­eta­bles.

The group shared its dis­ap­point­ment on Face­book: ‘ We con­tin­u­ally urge you to make sure your chil­dren are not dam­ag­ing the nurs­ery gar­den.

‘This may be “just sand” but it means time out of our nurs­ery day to clean it up be­fore our own chil­dren can go out to play. It also means a lack of re­spect for our prop­erty and re­sources.’

The group urged par­ents to re­mind chil­dren that CCTV cam­eras were in op­er­a­tion and to ‘please have a word’ with them if they recog­nised the cul­prits.

Care­taker Vivian Ritz in the van­dalised play park.

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