THE first ever action plan has been drawn up by supporters of a Darwen park less than a week after the beauty spot suffered a serious spate of vandalism.

Seventy residents and Whitehall Park supporters have met at the Central United Reformed Church, Bolton Road, to discuss the future of the park.

An autumn facelift by Blackburn with Darwen Council came top of the agenda, along with pruning of trees and clearing of waterways.

Hundreds of flowers and plants were torn from flowerbeds in an early-morning attack a week ago. Residents living on nearby streets had their cars scratched and tyres slashed by the vandals.

Dave Page, Blackburn with Darwen Council parks development officer, said: "It was a superb turnout and I think it was partly because of what happened to the park a week ago and partly because people here are very committed to their area.

"We will be looking into maintaining the trees and flowers as well as de-silting the park's pond which is blocked at the moment.

"In the long term we will be looking towards introducing CCTV and lighting into the park in order to deter vandals."

Police will be attending the next supporters' meeting on Thursday, September 11, in order to take a more active role in the group.

Mr Page continued: "We did talk about the vandalism but it's good to see that people weren't pre-occupied by it and were willing to sit down and discuss their common goals."

Whitehall councillor Karimeh Foster, who has been drumming up park support for the past 12 years, said: "It was a very positive meeting and I hope people continue to attend and show their support to the park.

"We have a fully established committee now and we even have two young girls on the board because they also need to have their say in what they want from the area. It's a beautiful park and we should do our best to keep it that way.

June Ellison, 70, of Cyprus Street, said: "It was a very civilised meeting and I'm sure that the group will do a lot of good."