SEVEN mattresses were dumped in a skate park after being stolen from a nearby recycling centre.

Leigh town councillor Caroline Parker found the mattresses at the town’s skate park with her daughter Cheryl Hedges, who is employed by the council to clear the area.

It is the latest in a spate of dumping at the skate park which, in extreme cases, has even seen mattresses being set on fire at the site which is popular with children of all ages.

Previously bottles and fluorescent light bulbs have been smashed in the area, which Councillor Parker says are being taken from the council’s recycling depot next door.

She said: “Youngsters have been breaking into the site, which is behind the train station, stealing mattresses and dumping them on the skate park.

“It’s happened in the past with fluorescent bulbs, which contain dangerous chemicals and usually get smashed, but we’ve never had anything like seven mattresses dumped here before.

“It’s always absolutely vital they’re moved as soon as possible because we’ve had youngsters set them on fire in the past – it’s a big inconvenience to my daughter because she only spends an hour a day down there, but it’s also very dangerous for the children that use the park.”

Mrs Parker said she was surprised at the speed by which the mattresses were removed, after reporting the offence to Southend Council, but said more needed to be done to prevent it happening in the first place and had suggested to Leigh community police officers they drive past the skate park regularly on night patrols.

A spokesman for Southend Council said the mattresses were reported late on Monday afternoon and were removed by workmen on Tuesday morning.