Counting the cost of vandalism at Stamford Recreation Ground and Meadows

Graffiti on a wall near The Rec
Graffiti on a wall near The Rec
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People are being called upon to name and shame the vandals responsible for causing thousands of pounds worth of damage at two well-used areas of Stamford.

Stamford Town Council has shelled out more than £8,000 of tax-payers cash for repairs over the last two years after vandals struck.

Some of the damage caused - a hole in the fence at the tennis courts

Some of the damage caused - a hole in the fence at the tennis courts

Now fed-up town councillors are calling on the public to help identify those responsible.

Among a long list of damage caused is: the doors and locks of the toilet at the Recreation Ground being broken; waste bins on the Meadows being set fire to; holes cut in the fencing surrounding the tennis courts on the Rec and grafitti sprayed on walls. Even the cemetery in Little Casterton Road has not been immune with pots on graves being kicked over and broken.

Bob Sandall is chairman of the town council’s amenities facilities and says enough is enough.

He said: “It’s probably just a small minority of people ruining these amenities which mean a lot to the people of Stamford.

A damaged metal fence on The Rec

A damaged metal fence on The Rec

“A lot of the councillors are patrolling the areas when they can but what we need is the public’s help to identify these people so we can put a stop to it. We don’t have limitless budgets to keep these repairs going.”

The council has already taken some measures including putting anti-vandalism paint on the roof of The Shack, which is on the Rec, to stop people from climbing on to it. There is also CCTV which monitors part of the Recreation Ground.

Coun Sandall said: “We think it’s the same group of people but we just don’t know and that’s why we need anyone who witnesses anything to come forward so we can speak to the police.”

Patricia Stuart-Mogg, the council’s clerk, added in a statement: “Such wanton damage and destruction to our local environment not only inconveniences members of the public who may be denied use of, or access to, vandalised facilities but reflects badly on the town and has the real potential to deter visitors and tourists who bring valuable revenue to shops and businesses in the town.”

A burnt out bin on the Meadows

A burnt out bin on the Meadows

The damage caused has led to the urinal at the toilets on the Rec being removed - and only one toilet being available for use at a time. The toilets were funded by a Spend a Penny campaign and were opened a few years ago.

But the problems on the Rec have got so bad, Coun Sandall said there were concerns about opening a new swing there which is for disabled children.

Many of the incidents have been reported to the police and Stamford Town Council is hoping to engage with officers to get better CCTV and more patrols in a bid to put an end to the vandalism spree. Councillors agreed at a meeting this week to arrange to meet officers face-to-face to discuss the severity of the problem and see what else can be done.

If you witness any vandalism call the town clerk on 01780 753808 or call police on 101.