THE BOSS of a Runcorn bowling green is calling for police and council chiefs to take urgent action after a spate of vandal attacks against the club.
Cliff Barton, secretary of the Willow Brook Bowling Club, says he is fed up with gangs of 'morons' intent on breaking through a gap in the club's fence - to cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
The yobbish behaviour, which has been rife in the Ivy Street grounds for the past 10 years, continues to get worse and on the last occasion, a chair bench was slung on top of the hut roof.
The finger of blame is largely being pointed at teenagers hanging around the bowling green late at night, leaving behind drugs paraphernalia and scrawling graffiti across the walls.
The 70-year-old pensioner also admits to feeling unsafe when he is forced to lock the club up late at night, while receiving little or no financial help from Halton Borough Council.
Mr Barton said: 'These mindless morons who force entry into the hut take their supplies of drugs and alcohol at their leisure.
'The drugs unit of Runcorn Police has also been informed, but so far it has failed to return my call.
'We had a bad attack two years ago as well when yobs broke into the grounds and dug holes into the green.'
In the past, Mr Barton felt so helpless about the situation that he wrote a letter to Paul Wright, the operational landscape manager at Halton council, outlining his grievances.
Despite being assured in 2002 that improvements would be carried out, the remaining unresolved issues include: Security is 'lax' with no park ranger to lock up the club grounds. There is also a gaping hole in the fence and the hedgerows have been chopped back.
No toilet facilities provided on site.
Players are forced to go without a proper shelter from the wind and rain while the current hut provided at the bowling green was bought by Mr Barton 13 years ago.
There is insufficient seating arrangements.
The general cost of maintaining the green has fallen with the club - not Halton council.
Foils and spoons left behind by drug users have been discovered at the hut grounds on a regular basis.
Now, Mr Barton wants council chiefs to re-introduce season tickets into the club and introduce regular collections from casual bowlers to subsidise the maintenance costs.
It is estimated the club loses as much as £18,000 a year as a result of the council's decision.
A spokeswoman for Halton council said: 'Mr Barton has contacted us about various issues regarding Willow Brook. At the last meeting it was decided investment was needed to improve such things as fencing and paths around the bowling green.
'The bowling club requested a shelter with toilet. As this and other improvements would be costly, it was decided the council would work out the cost of full refurbishment of the site.Then, similar to the successful project at Rock Park, the council would work with the club to apply for grants to fund the project. This process is currently under way.
'At present the council spends £5,000 maintaining Willow Brook before any damage is accounted for. A staff member visits the site three times a week to mow the green and each time a complaint has been received about damage to the green it has been dealt with immediately.'
The spokeswoman said Mr Barton had volunteered to lock up the greens.