A NEW playground was badly damaged by fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, in a "disgusting" suspected arson attack.

Upton-upon-Severn's fire crew was called out at 12.49am to the playground off New Road in the town, to put out the blaze, which is thought to have been started deliberately.

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

Councillor 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?”

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

“We’ll have to wait until the office is open and the staff are in before we can find out things like that,” she told the Gazette.

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 added: “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.”