Hadleigh: John Burrows Recreation Ground gym vandalized

AN OUTDOOR GYM has been ‘insanely destroyed’ by vandals just over six months since it was installed after a community fundraiser.

Equipment at the John Burrows Recreation Ground fitness center was torn off the ground and the glass sign was smashed, leading the council to close the outdoor gym.

Shocked residents discovered the damage Thursday morning and reported the damage to Essex police.

“I am extremely frustrated, extremely disappointed and very, very annoyed that this has happened,” said Cllr Paul Varker, Vice-President of the Council.

“A lot of work has gone into getting that gym installed by the Hadleigh Community Group and getting it vandalized that way in such a short amount of time is just completely disgusting.

“The joint group has worked so hard to raise money over the years to get this in, with a financial contribution from the council. It is a great benefit to our neighborhood and our community.

He added: “To see it weakly destroyed in that way is inconceivable.

“I would love to catch the vandals. These are mentally retarded people who have no respect for others and that’s really inconceivable.”

Parish Councilor Tory Victoria says the council cannot set a specific timetable for when the outdoor gym will reopen, but says he and his colleague are determined to have the damaged equipment repaired “as soon as possible”.

“I can not give a final date for when it will be repaired, but let’s just say that it is being worked on urgently.

“Hopefully we can get it fixed sooner, rather than later,” he added.

The parish councilor says that the gym has been a massive success in the local community since it opened earlier this year, and it has especially been a health benefit for those who want to exercise but who are excited to do so in a closed indoor gym .

“It really helps, people who are trying to get some exercise under Covid,” he said.

“It’s a free way to see if they like to train, and it’s a huge loss for the locals.”

The gym will remain fenced and closed to the public until the damaged equipment has been repaired.

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