Fears Whitehawk park will be 'forgotten' after blaze

Residents in East Brighton are concerned that a damaged park will be abandoned by authorities after two fires in one night.

Friday, 8th June 2018, 11:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:33 pm
The climbing frame in East Brighton Park

But the council has said it will replace the equipment after an investigation, and added it has spent £150,000 on play equipment in the area in the last seven years.

Firefighters were called to tackle a blaze in East Brighton Park this week, only to return hours later to extinguish a second blaze.

The fires at East Brighton Park, Wilson Avenue, took place just after midnight on Tuesday (June 5) and at 5.17am.

The climbing frame was damaged in the two fires

Resident Amber Ayling said she took her five-year-old daughter to the park on Tuesday afternoon to discover the climbing frame and train were destroyed.

"We turned up and noticed it was all fenced off. The climbing frame and train are burnt to pieces. It is really sad.

"It's just been left. I doubt anything will be done about it. They just leave everything for so long, it's hazardous.

"We're not a priority here. Whitehawk is sort of forgotten about."

A new residents group set up to encourage the improvements of park facilities in East Brighton also spoke out about the fire.

Posting on its Facebook page, Park Life: Save Our Parks, said: "What a shame that play equipment in East Brighton Park has been vandalised!

"We are gutted that children in the area have now got another unsafe park that can’t be used which means children have even less access to park equipment in the area they live in, this can course a lot of distress to children who so desperately need the outdoor space."

A council spokesman said: “It’s very sad to see these acts of reckless vandalism in our parks which ruin the facilities for our children and cost the council, and therefore taxpayers' money. We’ll be looking to remove the vandalised equipment within the next two weeks after we carry out an investigation. We will then replace the items once they are ordered and delivered, which will take around three months.

“We have spent more than £150,000 on playground equipment in East Brighton over the last seven years and we will continue to work on improvements to facilities, for example working with the Crew Club to upgrade the sports pitches beside the club to allow year round use.”

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