You will have seen the articles in the Observer (November 8) reporting on the fire that destroyed the large ship at East Beach play area in Selsey.
This play area had only been refurbished a year earlier and had been formally opened by the young children from First Steps Nursery cutting the ribbon to the applause of the many families who eagerly waited to try out all the new equipment.
We had received ‘thank you’ letters from people expressing delight at the wonderful play area and comments had been received from visitors to Selsey claiming they did not have anything so good where they lived.
The cost of the refurbishment of the whole play area was £55,000 and the ship itself represented about £20,000 of that, including the surfacing and the installation.
The quotation we have now received to remove the remnants of the equipment and replace like for like is £30,336.25.
Now it is gone and this is an example of the mindless vandalism we see every day.
Unfortunately, Selsey Town Council operatives spend a good deal of their time clearing the rubbish the children leave in the parks, particularly at the skate park, and repairing the damage caused to the play equipment items.
What concerns us is some of the damage can only be caused by someone using tools.
Where do the children get these tools?
Great blocks of concrete are gathered and thrown at the skate park slides.
Why do the children want to damage the facilities they are provided with?
Some of them ask when is the skate park going to be replaced, and so perhaps they think if they damage it enough, it will have to be replaced.
It does not work like that, as we will have to start asking the question as to whether we can afford to provide all these facilities any longer.
This is a timely reminder that all of us are paying for this through our council tax.
We may be able to claim for some on our insurance, but any claim only means next year’s premium will go up.
We have to take into account the time and resources spent on clearing up the mess, repairing the items and the administrative time reporting the incidents and filling in the necessary forms.
What we need to ask is: while you are reading this, do you know where your children and grandchildren are?
There are some of them out there costing us all money and ruining it for everyone else.
Selsey Town Council