COUNCILLORS and community campaigners have responded angrily to an attack by "mindless thugs" on Haworth Central Park's new, replacement bandstand.

The facility was unveiled earlier this summer following years of campaigning and fundraising.

But vandals have now smashed the stonework that houses the bandstand's electricity supply. A door was bent back to expose the power switches during the incident which happened some time on Friday night. The following night, hanging baskets put up to decorate the bandstand were torn down.

Gillian Hill, of the Friends of Haworth Central Park, said: "It is such a shame that a minority have spoilt it for the majority. Many residents have registered their amazement and shock at the mindlessness of this act."

She said a resident living nearby had reported hearing a party in the park, with music being played during the early hours of Saturday morning. She added: "One observation made was that it could have been an impulse end of term and exams celebration. Hopefully we will soon find out.

"The toilet attendant who opened up the public toilets in the park at 9.30am on Saturday discovered the damage when he did his usual walkabout.

"He was able to report this to Nikki Carroll at Firths who he knew is a Friend of the Park. Nikki phoned me so I went to look at the damage and reported it to the police. We were able to switch off the master switch making it safe.

"There was evidence of alcohol involvement as there were bottles, cans and many bottle tops scattered about.

"Then on the Saturday night, four of the six hanging baskets were torn down from the bandstand. We've no evidence to say if it was the same people responsible."

Worth Valley Ward councillor Rebecca Poulsen, who lives in Haworth, said: "It's atrocious and shocking. Just mindless thuggery - there's no need for behaviour like this.

"If people want to use the bandstand then of course they can do so - but not in this way.

"So many people have spent years fundraising and campaigning to get the bandstand, and it's very upsetting for everyone who has been involved with the project."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "We are investigating a report of criminal damage to an electrical junction box in Central Park, Haworth.

"Anyone with information on who might be responsible is asked to contact the Keighley Area Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."