VANDALS have set about wrecking the work of volunteers to upgrade a dilapidated community meeting place.
Work is being carried out to refurbish Hawkesbury Community Centre in Buckley and bring it back into use by the public.
But vandals struck over the weekend, damaging newly installed guttering and leading to fears the investment in the building, being funded by grants and public donations, could be tarnished as a result.
Cllr David Ellis, who has been working with the centre's steering committee to revive the building, said: “What has happened is very annoying.
“Guttering and downspouts were damaged and mud thrown at the new fire doors, all of which have been recently installed.
“There is a large amount of effort and investment being put into refurbishing the centre which will be used by people of all ages in the community.”
More than £17,000 has been sourced and is being ploughed into regenerating the building.
Work began on the project four months ago and the building is set to receive new windows following receipt of a £4,300 National Lottery grant and a £500 donation from Airbus UK.
Cllr Ellis fears the new windows could also be a target for anti-social behaviour and confirmed some of the money may now have to be spent on installing CCTV at the Mill Lane site.
“The roof was damaged when rocks were thrown onto it last year, which has obviously added to our cost already,” Cllr Ellis said.
“We are treating it seriously and looking into obtaining CCTV.”
Cllr Ellis also had concerns over a number of ‘boy racers’ using a car park adjacent to a nearby skate park to perform ‘doughnut’ skids.
He believes their presence so close to the skate park raises a public safety issue and wants to eliminate any potential risk to the youngsters who use it.
Cllr Carol Ellis, who also sits on the community centre committee said: “The fear is if the boy racers remain the centre could become a further target for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.
“Grant money isn’t available twice so if damage continues it will obviously affect some of the things we hope we can provide.”
North Wales Police inspector Dave Jolley said: “We are aware of the ongoing problems in and around Hawkesbury Community Centre.
“Police from Flintshire South have been tasked to include the area as part of their patrol plans.”
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