Arsonists hit park for a second time causing thousands of pounds worth of damage

A children's play area has been torched by arsonists for the second time in a week causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 2:34 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2016, 3:39 pm
Ian Bain, Sarah, Grace and Lola Ainslie are shocked after equipment in Outwood Park was set on fire.

Last week, The Express reported that vandals had started a fire in the playground at Outwood Park, on the evening of Sunday, July 24.

The fire destroyed equipment including a picnic bench.

And arsonists struck again at the Ledger Lane park during the weekend. The rubber seat of a swing in the play area was set on fire some time during the night on Friday, July 29 and the next morning.

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The Friends of Outwood Park, a group of volunteers who work to improve the park, said they were frustrated by the latest attack.

Vice-chairman Ian Bain said: “It is incredibly annoying, because we put so much of our free time into making this park enjoyable for parents and children. People are up in arms about what has happened. And children can’t play on and enjoy this swing now.”

Mr Bain said the fire damaged the rubber swing and flooring under it.

He said the equipment could cost thousands of pounds to replace.

Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “Outwood Park is a treasured part of the local community and we find it appalling that anyone would deliberately ruin a much loved play area.

“This is especially upsetting as the park is even more popular with young families during the school summer holidays.

“We are currently assessing the costs of the damage. “ Council budgets are under pressure due to government spending cuts, and it will be challenging for the council to find the money to make the repairs due to mindless acts of vandalism.”

Police urged anyone with information about the arson attacks to contact the Wakefield North West NPT on 101.