The newly installed red shelter in the skate park (made, and installed by local welder, Matt Maddox) has been vandalised yet again by having homophobic abuse scrawled over it. It is not graffiti. It is a hate crime. Hate crimes are dealt with by heavier sentences precisely because they are hate crimes, targeting minority and vulnerable groups and individuals within society and preying on their vulnerability. The Town Council has recognised that there is a need for greater facilities in the town for young people. That’s why we have now got a Youth Project Co-ordinator, and we would hope that the initiatives we take will be respected and not vandalised by messages of hate. We are sure that the person or people who did this were unaware that they were committing a hate crime but, on behalf of the Town Council, we ask you to reflect on the hurt you have done and the prejudice you have shown towards fellow residents. Can we all try to rejoice in our differences rather than using those differences as weapons to inflict pain and hurt?