By David Spereall, local democracy reporter
A west Leeds councillor has hit out at vandals who put young kids in danger, by removing barriers around a piece of broken play equipment.
Andrew Carter, who represents the city’s Calverley and Farsley areas, said those responsible should “think about their actions”.
The local authority had put up barriers to stop children using a roundabout basket in the playground at Calverley Victoria Park, because damage had meant it couldn’t be safely used.
However, the barriers were later thrown over the wall of the neighbouring Calverley Methodist Church, Councillor Carter told a meeting on Monday.
A replacement roundabout basket is due to be installed in the playground imminently.
But Coun Carter, who also leads Leeds’ opposition Conservative group, said the removal of the barriers could have had serious consequences.
Speaking at a gathering of councillors from the west of the city, he said: “The council’s parks department were excellent at getting out and putting barriers around it (when it was found to be broken).
“There’s an element of speed required here because we’ve already had an incident of vandalism where the barriers were thrown over the Methodist Church walls.
“So people who were visiting couldn’t see that barriers had been around the roundabout, which according to health and safety is in urgent need of replacement.”
Councillor Carter said the new equipment had already been ordered and that he hoped it would be installed soon.
He added: “I just want to say the young people who threw the barriers need to have a think about their actions, because there were tiny tots who could have been unwittingly put into this piece of equipment and come tumbling out onto the deck.
“So the sooner it’s replaced the better.”
The new roundabout basket will cost £4,000, half of which has come from Leeds’ community infrastructure levy.
That’s made up of contributions from developers, who have to pay the levy when they build new homes.
The council’s Outer West Community Committee is made up of nine councillors from the Calverley & Farsley, Pudsey and Farnley & Wortley wards.