Parents call for reopening of vandalised play area in Dagenham

Parents have voiced their frustration as a play area for children remains shut months after vandals ripped off its protective tarmac.

Barking and Dagenham Council closed the Goresbrook Park playground this summer to stop children getting hurt in case they fall off its swings.

But mum-of-one Caroline Reed, 35, today called on park chiefs to reopen the Dagenham play area used by her five-year-old daughter Faye and picnicking mums.

Mrs Reed, of Hatfield Road, Dagenham, said: “It’s still closed. It’s disgusting. It’s been months and months.

“It is bad for the little ones. Something has got to be done.”

Pensioner Colin Campbell, 73, complained that his 35-year-old niece Clare was no longer able to enjoy the swings with her two young children.

Mr Campbell, of Croppath Road, Dagenham, said: “It’s a shame. They are lovely swings.

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“We’ve had the Olympic Games this year, which were a wonderful success.

“We’re all talking about the legacy of the Games and here we have swings in Dagenham and they are closed most of the time because youngsters can vandalise them.”

Goresbrook ward Cllr Graham Letchford said the play area had been shut for health and safety reasons.

The Labour councillor indicated that replacing the tarmac could cost hundreds of pounds but said he was working to have it reopened as soon as possible.

Cllr Letchford also hopes a new, higher fence can be installed around the playground to deter youngsters from getting onto the site and damaging the tarmac.

He told the Post: “I’m doing my best to get the repairs done. Unfortunately it took a bit of time having come back from the summer break.

“I’m in communication with the department concerned to get it sorted as soon as I can. It’s a shame - it’s wanton vandalism.”