New vandalism attack on Valley Gardens

The damaged information board pictured this week in Harrogate's Valley Gardens.
The damaged information board pictured this week in Harrogate's Valley Gardens.

Just days after the Harrogate Advertiser highlighted readers’ concerns about the “dark side” of the Valley Gardens the town's beloved park has been vandalised again.

The Friends of the Valley Gardens says the cabinet on the information board in the Peat Garden within Valley Gardens has been vandalised and prised from its position.

But the good news is that a member of the public has stepped in to help.

A spokesperon for FOVG said: "We're grateful to a member of the public who rescued the cabinet and placed it by the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room."

The incident follows correspondence from reader Monika Sabor, who said "in the Valley Gardens we have beautifully manicured gardens alongside graffiti, broken bottles, litter, dog fouling and areas like the Sun Pavilion and Colonnades used as public toilets."

But Jane Blayney, chairman Friends Of Valley Gardens, whose volunteers work tirelessly in support of the park, said the charity was remaining positive.

She said: "Fortunately the numbers of responsible members of the public and people who value, protect and give their time and financial support to the Valley Gardens far outweigh, the number who vandalise the site.The cabinet is now being mended before re-installation."

Harrogate Borough Council said they were proud of the award-winning Valley Gardens, as was the whole town, and staff were specifically allocated to maintain and protect the park.

And they are calling on the public to report any problems.

Coun Michael Harrison, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling said: "Unfortunately there are a few who spoil things, but we do what we can to minimise any impact this has on the enjoyment of others using the facilities.

He said: “It is not just about cleaning up the mess left behind and the antisocial behaviour, it is also about prevention.

"The council was recently part of the national ‘We’re Watching You’ campaign which sets its sights on dog owners who act irresponsibly when they think they aren’t being watched. This had a significant result in reducing offending and we hope that this continues.

Coun Harrison advised anyone who spots an incident in the Valley Gardens to report it to the council's customer services team by calling 01423 500 600 or emailing CustomerServices@harrogate.gov.uk