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‘The few spoil things for the many’ - fury after bench in children’s play area is torched

PUBLISHED: 13:41 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 04 March 2019

A picnic bench in Rosedale Park, Lowestoft, was found torched over the weekend. Picture: Matthew Wade

A picnic bench in Rosedale Park, Lowestoft, was found torched over the weekend. Picture: Matthew Wade

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Residents have hit out after a bench in a children’s play area was set alight - just months after the popular facility was refurbished.

Used as a place for parents to congregate while youngsters enjoy nearby play equipment, the picnic bench in Lowestoft’s Rosedale Park - also known as Broadwaters - was found completely charred over the weekend.

Last year, new toddler and junior equipment was installed at the park as a result of local authority efforts to improve leisure facilities across Waveney.

But this latest act of vandalism serves as a setback to Lowestoft Town Council and their attempts to provide appealing amenities for local people.

“This has been so disappointing to see,” said Alice Taylor, who sits on the council. “The fact is, 99.9pc of people in Lowestoft would never do anything like that. It is always one person who spoils things for everyone.

“If I could speak to the person who did this, I’d say this town and everything within it belongs to you. This facility is something you, your own family, your brothers and sisters might use.

“People that do these things are thoughtless - they are simply not thinking ahead about how it affects people around them.”

Now sitting in the play area blackened and unusable, the bench will be removed by Waveney Norse and potentially replaced at a later date.

Matthew Wade, whose wife stumbled upon the scorched bench while walking their dog, believes only a very small minority would consider committing such a callous act.

“The council are getting some stick due to the lack of CCTV, but surely that’s not the point,” he said. “This is about the few who spoil things for the many.

“I don’t think things like this happen as much as people think. There is so much naysaying about Lowestoft, but most people have at least a bit of civic pride in their town.”

Mrs Taylor, who represents the Kirkley Ward, emphasised the constraints when it comes to replacing vandalised property on a shoestring budget.

She added: “These benches have to be bought using very limited funds. We can’t just go out and buy another one, so for a while there will be nothing there.

“I’ve no doubt the excuse for doing something like this would be boredom, but everyone else finds things to do. These kinds of people are just showing off to their friends.

“The sad reality is these things happen now and then - it’s not completely unexpected.”

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