COPELAND’S Mayor has condemned vandals and fly-tippers who have “blighted” three areas of Copeland.

Mike Starkie has spoken out after a spate of episodes over the past two weeks.

At the children’s play park at High Road, Kells, a boxing punch bag was attached to a swing and split open, spilling its contents all over the grounds.

While two incidents of fly-tipping were discovered by Copeland Council’s team; one of garden furniture, plant pots and debris on a rural road in between Swallow Hill and Pica, and the other of carpet and underlay in between Wath Brow and Briscoe Mount, Egremont.

“I simply fail to understand this sort of behaviour,” said Mr Starkie. “In the case of the Kells play park, this is a deliberate act that has achieved nothing but disruption and unpleasantness for the people who enjoy this facility.

“We’re responsible for this play park and we keep it as well maintained we can, so it’s incredibly disappointing to see this act of vandalism. Our team had to spend time cleaning up the mess; this is time they should have been spending on other duties.

“And those responsible for the fly-tips should be ashamed of themselves. There is a free Household Waste Recycling Centre in Frizington, where waste can be disposed of and recycled safely and responsibly seven days a week. There can be no excuse for people blighting our beautiful surroundings in this way.

“We investigate every fly-tip and last year increased the level of fine we can dish out to the culprits.

“All this is particularly disappointing in the week of the West Cumbria Community Heroes Awards when we celebrate community spirit, and people going out of their way to help one another and care for their environment. These examples are the complete opposite of everything that we – and the vast majority – are working so hard to achieve.”