Barrs Lane garden damaged

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A community garden has been attacked by vandals in Hazelbank in the latest in a series of vandalism incidents at facilities on the Westbank.

A councillor said the recent spate in attacks was concerning as it was putting pressure on local voluntary and community organisations.

Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Cooper slammed those behind the latest incident at the community garden in Barrs Lane.

He said: “I am very disappointed at hearing the news of this attack on the community garden at Barrs Lane.

“Once again we have such a facility being attacked. This follows a similar pattern of small play parks and gardens being vandalised in various parts of the city.”

Colr. Cooper said such incidents put local amenities under unnecessary pressure.

“Local organisation and volunteers invest a lot of time and energy in providing these spaces for communities and this is the last thing we want to see happening,” he said.

Just last week the popular Jon Clifford-Bull Park in the city was temporarily closed when some of its slides were criminally damaged by vandals.

And three weeks ago three bins were damaged and rubbish was strewn all over a play park in Creggan when it was subjected to attack.

Colr. Cooper said such incidents had resource implications not only for local community organisations but also for citizens. For example, the repair bill for damage to play parks is often picked up by Derry City and Strabane District Council; local ratepayers in other words. Colr. Cooper asked people to be vigilant and to report incidents to the authorities.

“I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward,” said Councillor Cooper who is Sinn Féin representative for the Foyleside District Electoral Area (DEA).