Councillor calls for more activities for youngsters after fire at Chesterfield beauty spot

A councillor is calling for local authorities to fund ‘diversionary activities’ for young people – after ‘mindless’ vandalism at a Chesterfield beauty spot.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:48 pm

Thugs torched a decking area at the Avenue Washlands in Wingerworth on Saturday in a crime which has left residents furious.

Video circulating on social media appears to show youngsters allegedly starting a fire.

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The aftermath of the blaze.
The aftermath of the blaze.

Following the offence, Councillor Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “I am calling on local councils to find funding to put on diversionary activities for young people in the parishes of Tupton, Wingerworth, Clay Cross and Grassmoor.

“I’ve written to Tupton Parish Council, Wingerworth Parish Council, Clay Cross Parish Council, Grassmoor Parish Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and the Clay Cross North county councillor.

“Please lobby your local councillors in these areas to support this proactive work (with funding), where we can try and engage with young people to prevent similar issues continuing to happen.

“If there is something you or your business can provide or donate to help, please email [email protected]

“Tupton Parish Council is taking steps to reopen the youth centre off Nethermoor Road, Tupton, so that regular, engaging activities can take place for local residents,” he added.

Coun Shipman previously said he was ‘disgusted’ by the crime.

The decking, which overlooks one of the ponds, was completely destroyed in the blaze.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust volunteers have set up an online fundraising appeal which has brought in nearly £4,000.

A spokesperson for Wingerworth and Rural Police Safer Neighbourhood Team described the incident as ‘mindless’ vandalism and added: “It appears that the composite decking by the pond has been set on fire, not only endangering the wildlife but ruining the area for the people who walk their dogs and others who want to sit and enjoy the scenery.

“We urge you to report those responsible so that we can engage with them and their family.”

On Monday night, the team thanked people for their ‘input’ following the incident and added: “The crime occurrence has now been passed to a police constable for investigation.”

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