Callous thieves have stolen new gates from a villages play area, just three months after they were installed.

Residents noticed that the gates were missing from the tennis court area at Broughton Moor on Thursday morning.

They had been seen in place at 10pm the previous night.

Broughton parish council chairman, Thomas Armstrong, said he is absolutely sickened by the theft.

The parish council had taken two years to raise the £2,600 necessary to buy the gates and had chosen a gate with kissing gate to allow prams and wheelchairs access to the area.

Councillor Armstrong said: “We have tried to work hard on the park, everyone gave 100 per cent.”

The gates had only been installed in December, and with the cost of fitting them has cost the parish council around £4,500.

Cllr Armstrong said he is too sickened to go to the site to see what damage has been caused by the gates' removal.

He said: “Me and my partner are absolutely gutted about it.

"I haven’t been up there it’s totally sickened me.

"The gates were there to make it safe for the kids, so they wouldn’t run on to the road.

"We would like them back.”

He was informed that they were missing by a committee member.

He then phoned the clerk and the police.

Cllr Armstrong added: “If we get some more we’ll have to weld the bolts on. It’s a sad sad time.

“The clerk and committee works exceptionally hard.”

When the gates were fitted, Cllr Armstrong said that the parish council only has about six members but they had worked hard for the village.

Recent projects included new lights for the village hall and a new floor.

They are also planning to landscape the Welfare field, which is behind the school and is owned by the parish council.

They have already raised around £20,000 for new play equipment, but still need to raise a further £20,000.

However, the theft of the gates makes Cllr Armstrong feel as though the parish council is: “taking one step forwards and three steps back.”

If anyone has any information which may help the village play area get their gates back, he would like them to contact him on 01900 816832.