Hawick councillor blasts ‘sickening’ vandalism at Burnfoot play park

Councillor Stuart Marshall at the fire-damaged play park

Councillor Stuart Marshall at the fire-damaged play park

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Councillor Stuart Marshall has hit out after vandals targeted the £20,000 play park at Sleepy Valley.

And it’s not just the vandals who are spoiling the area for others, irresponsible dog owners are also blighting the play park by allowing their dogs to foul there.

As well as the popular basket swing being set alight and damage caused to the perimeter fence, Mr Marshall is also taking regular calls about dog fouling.

Speaking this week, he said: “In 2011 I worked very hard along with several other key players on Burnfoot Community Council to attract around £20,000 worth of funding to provide a multi-play unit for Sleepy Valley swing park and to see this piece of apparatus being vandalised in this way is sickening to say the least.

“It appears that someone has tried to set it alight and now the kids will be deprived the use of a very popular attraction.

“I said back in 2011 that Sleepy Valley was a play park that the youngsters in Burnfoot can be proud of , but today, and because of the acts of one or two mindless individuals who really don’t care about their neighbourhood , then this statement falls short of that.

“The perimeter fencing has been badly damaged and I’ve also taken calls regarding a high level of dog fouling in and around Sleepy Valley, and have asked SBC to clean the area up the best they
can.”

Burnfoot Community Council chairman Michael Grieve added: “I’m disgusted at the callous attitude shown by whoever set fire to the swing in Sleepy Valley. Not that long ago a great deal of money was spent upgrading that play park and we are in the process of trying to get a new one at Henderson Road. I do not understand how anyone can get enjoyment from such wanton destruction.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson commented: “We are extremely disappointed that sections of fencing in this area have been vandalised.

“The fencing will be replaced when the vegetation has died off and better access can be obtained.

“Dealing with the consequences of vandalism means the council has to use funding from its budget which could be used to carry out improvements elsewhere. As a result, we would appeal to members of the public not to vandalise public property.”