A MEMORIAL to Farnworth suffragist Mary Barnes has been damaged less than a month after it was unveiled.

The Farnworth Park monument was surrounded by wooden fencing but residents visiting the area on Saturday found the panels kicked down.

Ms Barnes was a pioneer of women's suffrage who worked tirelessly for the people of Farnworth and was honoured after 100 years as part of a commemorative event on May 5.

Residents who live in the area also reported seeing young people climbing on the stone section of the memorial, although it has not been left damaged.

Local councillors Paul Sanders and Jean Gillies both condemned the damage.

Cllr Gillies said: "That fencing was there to make it look a little bit better and now it's been damaged. It's so disrespectful and it's shocking when people are trying to make a difference. It just infuriates me.

"I am sure that some parents would be mortified that their children have done that."

Cllr Sanders said: "When I first saw photos of the picket fence being tampered with I was just gutted. If there's anything we can take out of this, at least the stone part of the memorial was not damaged."