MINDLESS vandals destroyed a new village bus stop just days after Northumbria in Bloom judges visited to see how volunteers have worked hard to brighten up the community.

The recently-formed West Auckland in Bloom group has spent months preparing and tending to planters and tidying the streets, with the support of local businesses and groups such as Scouts who have volunteered to join litter picks.

Last week, the group hosted judges from the regional horticulture and environment contest Northumbria in Bloom who saw for themselves the transformation of the village.

However, just a few days later– on the evening of Saturday, August 18– vandals smashed the side windows on one of two bus stops installed by Durham County Council five weeks ago.

Durham County Councillor for West Auckland Rob Yorke said: “It’s great to see so many volunteers taking pride in their village, then mindless vandalism occurs which blights the village and ultimately costs the taxpayer money to repair.

“It’s soul-destroying for the volunteers and undoes their work to make our town look nice, we want to educate people to take pride in their village.”

Anyone with information which could help identify those responsible is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident number 171 of August 18.