VANDALS and arsonists are plaguing a Flintshire town, according to a community leader.

Shotton councillor Ann Minshull says residents in her ward have been put through hell over the past two weeks, with cars being vandalised, hedges and trees set alight and rubbish bags torn open and their contents strewn around the streets.

She told the Leader: “It has been absolute chaos here for about a fortnight and it has been particularly bad over the Easter weekend.

“On Saturday, we discovered that a pile of rubbish bags had been torn open and thrown all over the floor on a public footpath near Brook Street.

“It was absolutely horrendous – there were dirty nappies and all kinds all over the floor and people use that path regularly to get to Somerfield.

“I had trouble getting hold of someone from Flintshire Council to come and clear it up, given that it was a bank holiday, but the guys who eventually came out were great and cleaned it all up quickly.

“The worst thing about it is that there aren’t any houses next to the path, so someone has obviously stolen the bags of rubbish and deliberately tipped them out there.”

She added: “To make matters worse, on Sunday morning residents woke up to find that the wing mirrors had been ripped off lots of cars.

“We are talking about whole streets too – and it costs a lot of money to replace wing mirrors these days.”

Cllr Minshull has called for increased police patrols in the area in a bid to combat the anti-social behaviour, some of which she says is putting lives at risk.

She said: “A couple of weeks ago, the fire service were called to a house in Shotton because a 20-foot conifer tree and hedge had been set alight.

“The lady next door is elderly and it was really frightening for her. It’s so dangerous to set something alight like that – you don’t know how big the fire is going to get and where it will spread to.

“Something needs to be done to combat these incidents before something really serious happens.

“I have spoken to our local community beat manager and she has agreed to keep an eye on the situation.”