UPTON’S new playground was badly damaged by fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The town’s fire crew was called out at 12.49am to the playground off New Road to put out the blaze, which is thought to have been started deliberately. Police have been informed

The playground had only been officially opened on Monday, November 29, after undergoing a £200,000 makeover.

Betty Williams of Upton Town Council, which carried out the renewal of the playground, said: “This is absolutely disgusting. Words fail me.

“It was only opened last Monday and this happens. What kind of mentality do people have to do something like this?”

She said it was too early to tell the cost of the damage done and whether it will be covered by the town council’s insurance policy.

“Well have to wait until the office is open and the staff are in before we can find out things like that,” she said.

She also said the council has been looking into the possibility of installing CCTV cameras to cover the play equipment.

“The funding that we got for the new playground could not be used to pay for CCTV, so we have been looking for other ways to pay.”

The vandalism has been condemned by users of the Upton Parish Notice Board facebook page.

Jeni Farquar Allen-Goble said: “Some kids will be sad today when they go to visit.”

Abi Kitchener said: “Awful! Such a shame it has to be ruined!”

Steve Robbins said: “They should be found and make the parents pay for the damage. Utter disgrace.”

Pat Garland-Smith said: “Totally disgraceful! Another good thing ruined by mindless vandalism! Hard to believe someone didn’t see or hear this happening?”

Harriet Panes said: “I’m embarrassed at how low some people are. This is so sad. The kids have had so much enjoyment from this new park! Vile people. Such a sad little life they must lead.”