A COUNCILLOR says children as young as eight or nine are vandalising improved areas of a village.

Flower troughs in Burnley Road and Bolton Avenue in Huncoat had been planted out for the summer months by Huncoat Community Forum.

The forum had used money set aside for the Huncoat in Bloom project and had also persuaded dozens of volunteers to give up their free time to help put the planters together.

Forum member and local councillor Dave Parkinson said members and volunteers had become exasperated in recent weeks upon seeing the plants uprooted and thrown in piles on the ground.

Coun Parkinson said members had seen very young children running away from vandalised flower troughs and he himself had scolded a young girl.

He said: “I was talking a walk on Burnley Road and saw a young child pulling flowers out of the troughs we had planted up.

“She couldn’t have been more than right or nine, but it was very aggravating to see everyone’s hard work literally uprooted. It had taken quite a bit of time and money to get it looking good. We had to pay out for everything, including the compost that is ending up in piles on uprooted plants.

“It’s not on. Most children are not even allowed out at that age.

“She was very remorseful when I told her who I was and how hard we had worked on them.

“But it shouldn’t be happening.

“It was just very irritating to see such a young child grabbing the plants and rooting them up.

“The plants were all over the floor and we had seen that happening over the course of a week.

“Over the past 20 years we have transformed Huncoat and people generally do take a lot more pride in the area now.

“We need to keep it up.”