Resident criticises yobs who torched children's play area in Northampton

The play area in Goldings has been vandalised by yobs
The play area in Goldings has been vandalised by yobs

A Northampton woman has said she hopes her community can pull together to replace a playground that was damaged in a fire.

Hayley White of Goldings contacted the Chronicle & Echo after the slide on her estate was torched by yobs on Sunday at about 3pm.

The playground, located in Goldings Road, is overseen by Growing Together and is one of 150 local programmes funded by a £1m grant from the Big Lottery Fund across England.

The operational areas covered by Growing Together are Lumbertubs, Blackthorn, Cherry Lodge, Goldings, Lings and Overstone Lodge estates.

Hayley said: "It's so sad when one or more mindless idiots spoil things for others.

"This sadly isn't the first incident of damage since Growing Together spent Lottery funding on a lovely playground for the children of Goldings, when the playground equipment was being put in someone sadly stole the baby swing before the playground was even open, which had since been replaced, then the older children's swing was damaged beyond repair, which most recently has been replaced with a skateboard balance board.

"Many of us in Goldings have been asking for a safe play area with equipment for quite a while so when it was all installed it was lovely to see so many happy children of all ages playing there together happily.

Programme coordinator, Peter Strachan said the partnership board is set to host a meeting tomorrow and will make a decision about replacing the equipment.

Andrea McAuliffe, chair of the (all resident) community partnership board for the Growing Together programme said: "I’m deeply saddened that one or a few anti-social individuals have deprived all the young people of Goldings of this highly valued play area.

"We did an extensive consultation with local residents on what they would most like us to do on the estate and a play area was by far the top priority.

"This is a huge loss to the community. I urge anyone with any information about who is responsible to contact police. We’re now waiting for a report on how badly damaged the structure is and whether repair is possible. Once we have that we’ll decide what to do next."

Hayley says she believes there will be many unhappy children in Goldings following the incident.

She added: "The children will wonder why there is not a slide and climbing rings for them to play on and why someone felt the need to destroy their equipment for the fun of it.

"I hope that we, as a community, can come together and organise a fun day with stall holders, face painters, cake stalls and locally made items. Perhaps we can raise enough money to put towards either replacing the equipment or funding a CCTV camera, which should be installed to watch over the playground as a deterrent."