Vandalism causes asbestos danger

Councillor Bob Burrows with members of Bellshill Mens Shed and Viewpark Gardens Allotment Association outside the building that was struck by vandals. Pic: Alan Watson
Councillor Bob Burrows with members of Bellshill Mens Shed and Viewpark Gardens Allotment Association outside the building that was struck by vandals. Pic: Alan Watson

A community group are unable to move into their new home after vandals turned it into a health risk.

Bellshill Men’s Shed were left without a meeting place following the collapse of Yooz at the start of the year.

The damage caused to the asbestos roof

The damage caused to the asbestos roof

They had been meeting in Viewpark Community Centre on a temporary basis while waiting for work to be completed to allow them to move into a building at Viewpark Gardens.

They signed the lease earlier this month with North Lanarkshire Council and were all set to move in when disaster struck as vandals decided to break in.

They made their way in through the asbestos roof, causing significant damage, before setting off all the foam fire extinguishers inside.

Due to the health risks associated with damaged asbestos the building is currently out of bounds until the damage can be repaired.

Bellshill Men’s Shed organiser Paul Creechan said: “We had signed the lease, been donated some new workbenches and we really though we were all set and then this happens.

“The only good thing is at least we didn’t have equipment or tools in the building that could have been stolen.

“It’s definitely a setback, but we’ll push forward and hopefully by the end of the summer we’ll have moved in.”

As well as Bellshill Men’s Shed being unable to make use of the building the council can’t use of some of their vehicles which are stored in it.

Thorniewood councillor Bob Burrows said: “Vandalism at Viewpark Gardens has been going on for a few weeks, but has now reached a new level.

“Setting off the fire extinguishers left a real mess, but the real problem however is the burst asbestos roof.

“Now that the asbestos is damaged safety notice and non-access to the building is in place to make sure everyone is safe from any asbestos particles.

“The police are now fully involved in this and special measures will be taken to manage this site.

“We want to stop this mindless, unsafe vandalism so I ask anyone who sees anything outwith normal hours to please phone the police.”