A surge in vandalism has made All Saints Fountain in Rotherham’s town centre such a hazard that it is to be turned off at night.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council took the decision this morning after finding litter and broken glass in the fountain increasingly often, making it dangerous for children to play in.
Maintenance costs for the fountain have been rising along with the increase in vandalism, prompting the council to find a solution.
Last month vandals poured washing-up liquid into the fountain at night, creating a mountain of bubbles and a £500 repair bill.
Most of the vandalism and anti-social behaviour occurs at night, and could be prevented by turning the fountain off, according to the council.
Frost has also damaged the pumps and ancillaries of the fountain, and they will need to be replaced soon at a cost of up to £15,000.
The fountain will now be switched off between 6pm and 8am, and between December and March, when there is a chance of frost. The council estimates this will save £9,000 per year.
The council took the decision after a report warned of the danger and cost involved in keeping the fountain running at night.
Photograph courtesy of Ben Sutherland