Councillor is appalled by vandalism at Southgate Community Centre


- Credit: Archant

Vandals who broke into a popular west Suffolk community centre have splattered its walls with obscene words and pictures in paint.

The break-in at the Southgate Community Centre in Caie Walk, Bury St Edmunds happened between 6.30pm and 10.30pm on Thursday evening.

The culprits were able to break in by jemmying a lock.

After they gained entry, they sprayed a series of words and pictures around the community-run centre in green paint. Nothing was stolen during the incident.

A member of staff at the facility on Friday only confirmed that nothing had been taken or would need replacing, but declined to comment further.

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The running of the centre was handed over to the Southgate Community Partnership from St Edmundsbury Borough Council in October 2011.

Rooms at the centre are currently used for everything from table top sales, tea dances and children’s ballet classes to parent and toddler groups, keep fit classes, church groups and social events such as wedding receptions.

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Just over a year ago, £10,000 was spent on refurbishing a room to create a new ‘small hall’. Concrete columns were removed, the ceiling was replaced, walls were replastered and the centre was fully redecorated.

Immediately after Thursday’s vandalism incident, county and borough councillor Sarah Stamp, who is one of the trustees of the Southgate Community Partnership which operates the centre, tweeted that she was “utterly appalled by mindless vandalism overnight @SouthgateComm when we are all working so hard to build a safer and stronger community”.

She later told the EADT: “Thankfully incidents like this are rare, we are working with the police and are hopeful those responsible will be caught.

“However it’s still very disappointing that somebody would wilfully cause damage to such an important community resource which is used by so many people and groups in the area.”

Anyone with information about the vandalism can contact Bury St Edmunds police on 101.

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