A team of specialists will have to be brought in to repair substantial damage caused by vandals to a war memorial in Fife.
The Cowdenbeath War Memorial has been targeted in several sickening incidents over the past year, with reports of youths congregating at the site, throwing wreaths around and abusing local residents.
However the most destruction was caused in October, when wheelie bins were set on fire alongside the obelisk causing longer lasting damage.
Fencing was recently constructed around the war memorial in a bid to keep vandals out, but an assessment of the repair work required shed light on the extent of the damage.
Sarah Roxburgh, Cowdenbeath community manager, explained: “Work to repair the war memorial will begin in the New Year once we’ve awarded the tender.
“Unfortunately, the damage is worse than initially thought and will require specialist skills that we don’t have within the council.
“We’ve recently installed new wooden fencing along the boundary at the back of the war memorial.
“This was agreed by ward councillors and paid for out of the local budget.
“This was in response to persistent and increased anti-social behaviour incidents involving neighbouring properties.
“We hope that the fence will protect the war memorial area and adjacent residential garden areas.
“As ever we would encourage members of the public to report any further incidences of antisocial behaviour online at www.fife.gov.uk/antisocialbehaviour or 101 if it’s happening at that time.
“Obviously, if someone’s life or health is in danger, they should call 999.”
Cowdenbeath councillor Darren Watt was happy to see the new fencing erected, as he believes it would provide “peace of mind” for nearby residents.
He said: “I am pleased to see fencing has now been installed along the boundary at the back of the World War One Memorial in Cowdenbeath.
“This was agreed by local councillors following recent anti-social behaviour, vandalism, and disruption to neighbouring residents.
“Not only will the fence offer additional security and peace of mind for the residents, it also enhances the area and helps tidy up the boundary.
“In regards to the damage to the memorial itself, unfortunately it is worse than initially thought. The fire was very fierce and one of the corners of the memorial crumbled away.
“This has been classed as a specialist job, however, it will have to be carried out by a specialist firm as Fife Council do not have the resources to repair.
“The job will need to go out to tender, providing full specification and detail. Hopefully this process will begin in the New Year.”
Story by local democracy reporter Craig Smith