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Glasgow City Council

Arsonists Torch Children's Train

Published 19/3/24

3 burnt train at Anderston play park Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Arsonists have torched a children's play park causing more than £25,000 worth of damage.

The Glasgow City Council play park which was refurbished at a cost of £50,000 in 2020/21, suffered extensive damage in the attack.

A popular mini climbing frame in the shape of a train with two carriages was set ablaze in broad daylight and destroyed in the fire in Houldsworth Street, Anderston. Two smaller pieces of play equipment escaped damage.

Sadly, the deliberate destruction of equipment for youngsters under the age of eight in Anderston, follows vandalism at a recently refurbished play park in Bonnyholm Avenue on the southside of the city.

Several pieces of freshly installed play equipment were damaged just months after the facility reopened to the public following a major upgrade costing around £160,000.

The Bonnyholm Avenue play area was among the first in the city to be refurbished by the council in a new £6million programme of investment in play parks taking place across the city over the next five years.

But vandals severely damaged a swing, a conical climbing frame and a see-saw in two incidents over the festive season and on January 18th. The equipment has since been made safe and the park has reopened.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow's Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, voiced his anger and frustration at the pointless destruction.

He said: "I cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would do this! That expensive piece of equipment was installed in the heart of the community for the enjoyment of little children. It is absolutely galling that the time, effort and money put into the project has been destroyed for no reason other than sheer badness. It is a blow to the community and heartbreaking for the children who loved the train.

"A total of 133 Glasgow play parks are due to be refurbished by the council over the next five years at a cost of £6million, but there is no endless pot of money to continually replace equipment destroyed by vandals.

"The play park in Houldsworth Street is surrounded by housing, I'd urge anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area or who knows who is responsible for the fire to contact the police immediately and help them catch those responsible for this criminal and antisocial behaviour."

The Anderston fire took place on February 25th.

Published 19/3/24

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