UNDER ATTACK: The Dawson Road swing
UNDER ATTACK: The Dawson Road swing

VANDALS have damaged a recently installed mobility swing at a Barnard Castle play area before it was officially opened.
The £19,000 swing, which is suitable for wheelchair users, was installed by Barnard Castle Town Council at the Dawson Road play area following requests from residents.
It was installed earlier this year following a delay due to the pandemic, however, town council clerk Martin Clark told members of the services committee the equipment had been cordoned off due to vandalism.
He said: “It is disappointing that it has been vandalised. We were organising an event to officially open it, but there’s damage to the ramp and bolts have been removed.”
Mr Clark added: “We waited two years for this equipment. The removal of the bolts is not something children could do. It is not the only spate of vandalism that we have suffered.”
He said trees surrounding the Green Lane play area have had the bark stripped off and branches pulled down and a bolt has been removed from the gate to the Scar Top play area.
Mr Clark said: “The crime has been reported to the police and they are going to be doing some work on social media.”
He said the company that installed the Dawson Road swing were extremely disappointed to hear of the vandalism and have offered to repair the ramp free of charge and will replace the bolts.
Cllr Fiona Turnbull suggested giving residents the feeling of “ownership” of equipment could reduce instances of vandalism at the various play areas.
She added: “It would be nice to get play equipment that children want because I have had a lot of feedback that there is not a lot for older children.
“If there were facilities for them there may be less vandalism.”
The clerk said equipment at the Green Lane play area had not been vandalised but the surfacing was in need of improvement work and suggested working with the chairman and vice chairman to look at cost effective methods of how this could be achieved.
But since the meeting, vandals have struck at Green Lane, ripping up part of the play areas protective surface, which Mr Clark described as “appalling”.
Meanwhile, Bouch Way play area is due to reopen soon after town councillors appointed a contractor to carry out repairs to the fencing which surrounds the facility.