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South Tyneside park hit by vandals

The waterfall area at South Marine Park.
The waterfall area at South Marine Park.

South Tyneside Council is calling on visitors to help tackle vandalism at a popular park, which has been hit again.

The waterfall in South Marine Park, South Shields, has been the subject of a spate of vandalism.

The waterfall in South Marine Park.

The waterfall in South Marine Park.

It was put out of action in April after a detergent-type substance was poured into the water causing it to foam and council engineers had to drain and refill the pool.

However, council staff and community supporters have been left saddened and frustrated after further incidents over the last few weeks. The latest is thought to have happened at around 6pm last Wednesday, June 6.

Coun Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “This sort of behaviour is completely irresponsible and totally unacceptable.

“What may seem like a bit of fun to some people can actually cause a great deal of harm to the fauna, flora and wildlife in this area. This type of stunt can also block the waterfall filters and damage the equipment used to make the waterfall an attractive feature of the park.

South Marine Park in South Shields.

South Marine Park in South Shields.

“The council spends around £2.2million a year keeping the borough clean and tidy, with the significant cost of clearing up after incidents such as this, placing a huge burden on the council’s limited finances. It is taxpayers who ultimately have to foot the bill.”

The incidents have disappointed the Beacon and Bents ward members, Councillors John Anglin, Audrey McMillan and Angela Hamilton.

Speaking on behalf of all three, Coun McMillan, said: “The waterfall is a popular feature of the park. It’s not only a local gem, but a valuable wildlife habitat and is enjoyed by visitors who come from far and wide.

“This vandalism is both senseless and disgraceful and we are determined to do everything we can to put a stop to it.

“Unfortunately it is not possible for us to monitor this area 24 hours a day, which is why we are calling for the members of the public to support us by helping to keep a look out and report any incidents or suspicious activity as soon as possible.”

Joan Eggleston, Secretary of the Friends of North and South Marine Parks, added: “It is such a shame that a tiny minority of people have chosen to vandalise the waterfall again. This is the third or fourth time over recent weeks.

“Our volunteers do a great deal of work in helping to keep both parks looking their best and these types of incidents are extremely disheartening and frustrating for all those involved.”

Anyone who witnesses this happening is urged to report it immediately to the Community Wardens on 0191 420 3713, who can be contacted between 11.30am and 10.30pm.

Incidents of anti-social behaviour can also be reported to the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on 0191 427 7000, text 07786 200 802, email asb@southtynesidehomes.org.uk or online at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit.