VANDALS have wrecked a children’s playground just weeks it was refurbished.

The play area in Tarner Park, Brighton, was all ready for Easter after the city council rebuilt parts of it.

But earlier this week neighbour Ruby Rose found it had been ruined by vandals.

She said: “Someone destroyed big areas of rubber tarmac and threw it all over the place.

“It’s only just been patched up and new swings installed.”

She regularly walks through the area with her dog and was shocked to find it in a terrible state so soon after the refurbishment.

Emma Jacquest, from the Tarner Community Project, regularly holds events for families at the playground.

While it belongs to the council, the project mainly looks after it.

She said: “It’s honestly just such a shame that this has happened because it was all done and ready for the holidays so that the families could enjoy it.

“We won’t let this damage stop us though.”

Emma said that three years ago, vandalism was particularly bad in the area.

But she said the team at Tarner Community Project had worked hard to give it the good reputation it has today.

She said: “To be honest this sort of thing does happen often around the city and it’s luckily not the worst damage we have seen.

“It would have been young ones, and a lot of the time its young ones that aren’t in education or employment that tend to do this sort of thing.

“In the past few years we have completely turned it around and kept it a safe place.”

Emma said the project worked to tackle the issue and in the past it held a meeting with parents, children, project staff and “perpetrators”.

She decided to start hosting youth clubs for the youngsters responsible for the damage.

She said: “We like to draw them into the project and involve them rather than exclude them.

“It really worked, which is why we have got a much better area now. This damage luckily isn’t that bad, it’s just a bit of a shame.”

The council has told Emma it will rectify the damage

Emma will be holding a festival at Tarner Park on June 29 to promote the support services in the area for residents and young talent.

She said: “The festival is a good way to see what a great job we do here for the community. It’s proved a great success.

“Last year about 1,000 people came.”

Green candidate Clare Rainey, who is standing in next month’s council elections for Queen’s Park, said: “I am disappointed to hear that Tarner Park has been damaged and the safety tarmac has been ripped up.

“This is particularly frustrating for those who have worked hard to bring new facilities into the park only recently.

“However Tarner Park continues to be a much-loved and needed community play area, providing clubs and activities for children and young people, as well as a community garden.

“As a parent myself, I know how important this park is for families, and I and my Green Party colleagues will do our very best to support the Tarner Community Project in restoring the park facilities, and with their ongoing excellent work.”