COMMUNITY leaders are concerned about an upsurge in vandalism in their village.
The latest incident occurred over the weekend, when a fence was damaged at Bunbury playing fields and a muddy football kicked against the newly redecorated pavilion.
A security light was caked in mud, meaning although the bulb was on, very little light could escape. Deep holes had also been bored into the walls, possibly using a drill.
Parish councillor Freda Venables, who is also a member of the playing fields committee, does not have any proof but suspects youngsters to be responsible.
She said: 'I want parents to see the state of our building. We've just spent an awful lot of money having it repainted. It seems to be some sort of protest by somebody.'
Cllr Venables said she and other councillors had spoken to the young people who gathered in the area and they had denied any involvement.
They had been invited to attend the next meeting of the playing fields committee in four weeks to offer their thoughts on the way forward.
She added: 'I personally think they have nowhere in the village where they can go. They like to meet and flirt and whatever, as you do when you are young, and that's the only area they can go. They get a bit drunk and get bolshie and show off in front of girls. It might be something they think is amusing.'
The pavilion incorporates changing rooms for footballers and the hall is used for social events like dancing and parties. Cllr Venables said the toilets had been vandalised in the past but it was not clear who was responsible.
She said pensioners lived in bungalows nearby but could not be expected to approach people suspected of misdemeanours. Installing security cameras was unrealistic given the lack of funds.
Cllr Nick Parker, who is vice-chairman of Bunbury Parish Council and secretary of the playing fields committee, said the redecoration of the building had cost £750 back in November and the clean-up would probably be down to volunteers.
Speaking about Monday's playing fields committee, he said: 'We were quite concerned about the upsurge of vandalism. I know it's quite minor compared with many places but nevertheless it's a worrying sign.'
The councillor added: 'I would like to alert the village as a whole. We have got vandalism that is unsightly and costly and which generally makes the place not feel very safe.'
Cllr Parker also mentioned that the insurance premium had risen by £290 a year to £2,500.
He added: 'The playing fields committee is in the early stages of wanting to expand the size of the building and bring it up to date for the requirements villagers would like us to have.
'Whatever funds we have are limited and we don't want money to be going to cover vandalism or other unnecessary expenses that creep up.'