‘Mind­less’ at­tack on tod­dlers’ park

Play­group gar­den tar­geted for third time

The Galloway News - - NEWS - Stuart Gille­spie

Dal­beat­tie Play­group has been the sub­ject of an “ab­so­lutely sick­en­ing” at­tack by van­dals.

Yobs broke into the group’s base, which is in the grounds of the old pri­mary school, over the week­end and wreaked havoc with the gar­den and out­door mu­sic sta­tion.

It fol­lows in­ci­dents last year when the build­ing was bro­ken into twice in­side a month.

Play­group man­ager Stacey McKer­row said: “It is a night­mare for the staff. They are hav­ing to come in each morn­ing to make sure ev­ery­thing is safe for the chil­dren.

“We have locked all the perime­ter gates so they must be climb­ing the walls to get in.

“We have found dog dirt in the gar­den be­fore and there has also been bro­ken glass.

“It is so dis­heart­en­ing and frus­trat­ing as we are try­ing to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for the chil­dren.”

The young­sters had been work­ing out­side cre­at­ing a mu­sic sta­tion with pots and pan. That was dam­aged while pin­nies from the messy sta­tion were pulled down.

Stacey said: “The chil­dren have been do­ing work with pal­lets. On one pal­let they’d at­tached pot lids to make a xy­lo­phone and one mem­ber of staff came in on Fri­day and some­one had un­tied the rib­bon.

“There were other pal­lets that had been dis­trib­uted in the big field next to Isle­croft.

“We were hold­ing our sum­mer fete on Sun­day and when we came in to set up in the morn­ing we dis­cov­ered that all the pots had dis­ap­peared and we can’t find them.”

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor Rob David­son was dis­gusted by the lat­est in­ci­dent.

He said: “Af­ter ev­ery­thing the play­group has gone through mov­ing to dif­fer­ent premises and their role is on the up, this is ab­so­lutely sick­en­ing. It is mind­less van­dal­ism.

“They have done an ex­cel­lent job and for this to hap­pen is ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful.

“I think the peo­ple that did this need to have a look at them­selves – what sort of per­son van­dalises a tod­dlers’ play­park? It’s ridicu­lous.”

Coun­cil­lor David­son said one pos­si­ble way to com­bat the van­dal­ism was to re-open a path through the school grounds that is used by dog walk­ers as the pres­ence of mem­bers of the public could help act as a de­ter­rent.

Up­set Play­group chil­dren with Stacey McKer­row be­side their out­side mu­sic in­stal­la­tion which was van­dalised at the week­end

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