Lake Meadows Billericay play equipment destroyed by 'mindless' arsonists

Picture of Lake Meadows play area on fire

Article by Matthew Critchell: “MINDLESS arsonists” destroyed equipment at a play area in Billericay.

The play area at Lake Meadows Park, Billericay was targeted by the vandals who set fire to the equipment, with fire service bosses confirming the fire was started deliberately.

Images show the charred remained and videos showed large orange flames covering part of the play area.

Councillors have blasted the arsonists and expect a bill for thousands of pounds to fix the play area.

Phil Turner, Tory councillor for Billericay West, said:

“Obviously it’s outrageous and it’s such a soft target. This is mindless vandalism and it’s wrecking the enjoyment of young people and costing taxpayers’ money to repair it. I can’t understand their motives for this but it’s senseless behaviour. Council officers are looking at CCTV and working with police and agencies. If we do find out why did this I want to see them prosecuted and want them to know it’s not a victimless crime and it comes at a price.”

He said the council is planning on spending £1 million on the park with a new skate park, disabled facilities and other improvements.

The former Basildon Council leader said council officers have inspected the site after the fire on Saturday, June 5.

He added:

“It’s unclear exactly how much damage was cause but this sort of thing tends to be thousands of pounds.Residents are frustrated and we could really do without all this. It’s just appalling.”

Angry residents joined discussion on Facebook about the incident blasting the arsonists.

One man said:

“It was disappointing scenes at Lake Meadows. Thanks to the quick reactions of the fire service, no one hurt.”

Another added:

“This is so, so sad. My children - and many others I’m sure - loved this slide and have grown up gradually learning how to climb to get in the slide. This has really made me and my children very, very, sad indeed.”

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said:

“Firefighters attended Lake Meadows Park in Billericay at 12.47am on June 5 and found a section of the playground on fire. It’s been recorded as a deliberate fire.”

Call police on 101 with any information.

Article by Matthew Critchell, The Echo