The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey has hit out as mindless thugs vandalised a local play park and public toilets ahead of the school holidays.
Following an arson attack on Steeple Play Park Antrim and extensive damage to the toilet block at Centenary Way in Ballyclare last night, Alderman Stephen Ross said he was “horrified at the damage that was done” after he visited the two sites this morning with a number of local councillors .
He continued; “these acts of vandalism in a children’s play park and public toilets in the heart of our borough is absolutely deplorable behaviour. The fire damage caused at Steeple Park now means this popular children’s play area will be closed over the school holidays.
“Our play parks are there to serve the local community, a place to enjoy with family and friends. Unfortunately these attacks are not isolated incidents, Steeple Park and Centenary Way are regularly subject to anti-social behaviour and I am only grateful that no-one was injured in the attacks last night.”
The Council has spent a staggering £30,000 repairing damage to Steeple Park in the last twelve months alone, and a further £20,000 repairing damage to the toilets at Centenary Way.
The Mayor said:
“This behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated in today’s society. The damage to Centenary Way public toilets has left the Council with no option but to close these toilets at an earlier time of 6pm to help eliminate this ongoing anti-social behaviour, causing inconvenience to local residents and visitors to the town.
“The Council has increased security patrols in the areas and I would urge the public if they see any suspicious activity to contact the PSNI immediately. We cannot allow this small minority of people to continually destroy our Borough.”