NEW play areas across Basildon will stop being built if yobs continue to target them, a furious councillor has said.

Kevin Blake spoke out after thugs targeted yet another of the borough’s playing areas, this time torching play equipment at Victoria Park, in Victoria Road, Laindon.

The playground is the third one to be trashed by yobs in as many months.

It is undergoing a make-over to turn it into a £180,000 sports area, with new play equipment.

But Mr Blake, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the arts, said the continued vandalism of the borough’s parks was putting future investment in play equipment in jeopardy.

He said: “It’s just vandalism again.

“We are giving them brand new facilities and this is the way they repay us, by wrecking another play area.

“These people, I don’t care whether they are young or old, they are just scum.

“The more the council has to pay out the less chance there will be of putting investment into parks. While we are spending money on repairing stuff, that money is not getting spent on new equipment.

“I also won’t accept the argument youths have got nothing to do. These days there is far more to do than when I was younger and we just got on with it. We are getting to the stage where we are going to have to say enough is enough.”

Police were called to the park in Victoria Road at about 5am on Saturday following reports rubber safety matting had been torched.

In May, the Echo told how yobs ripped down security fencing at the newly revamped play area in Swan Mead, Vange.

At the same time the Langdon Hills Recreation Ground, in New Avenue, was targeted twice in a fortnight.