ONE of Rishton’s new living Christmas trees has been damaged in an attack by vandals.

The tree, in High Street, has had several of its branches snapped off, while others have been bent and broken.

Councillor Ken Moss has reacted angrily to the vandalism, which he said puts the tree at ‘risk of disease and further decay’.

Two six-feet-tall Christmas trees were permanently planted last November in a bid to cut the cost of Christmas, and were branded ‘laughable’ by some residents due to their small size.

But Coun Ken Moss said: “The two Christmas trees have grown considerably since December and have taken root well. I was so pleased because it ensures children growing up now will be able to watch their own children enjoying the same tree in years to come.

“We don’t have the money to keep replacing trees; we are trying to provide something lasting for very little money.

“This is just brainless vandalism. All they have done is spoil what could have been something beautiful that everyone can enjoy.” The branches are not expected to grow back, although most of the damage is at the back.

Coun Moss said a request has been made for the police to check CCTV cameras in High Street.

One of the Christmas trees was vandalised in December, just hours after the lights were switched on.

Lighting cables were ripped out of an electrical junction box at the tree in Parker Street, where then Hyndburn mayor Judith Addison, alongside MP Graham Jones, had attended the switch-on.

Residents with information about the vandalism can call police on 101, or report it anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.