Youngsters’ worries over skate park

A group of young people are desperate to see some action from the council in improving the skate park which they claim is a ‘health hazard’.

YOUNGSTERS in Bideford are fighting to save their skate park from becoming a ‘drug haven’.

More than 30 youngsters use the park on a daily basis, and are also worried that the cracked and rusting equipment will result in a serious injury.

Greg Grahame, 17, said he wrote to Torridge District Council about the problem six months ago, but has heard nothing back.

He said: “The skate park is dangerous; the quarter-pipe cracked when it snowed and hasn’t been fixed; the ground is overused and flicks little stones up everywhere which get stuck in your wheels; and some of the frame work on the ramps is rusting away.

“Half the park had to be closed off last year because people were using heroin in it and leaving needles on the ground.

“We know if the park goes into disrepair then it will just become a drug haven; loads of kids come here every day after school and we don’t want to see this happen.”

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Councillor Barry Parsons, leader of the council, said: “The skate park running surfaces are painted every pre-season with paint recommended by the skate firm that installed the skate park and provide a suitable anti-slip surface for users. This year we will be painting all the ramp equipment.

“Torridge District Council will be carrying out a detailed inspection prior to painting to establish if any repairs are required to the frame and will schedule appropriate repair works as necessary.

“The Council is aware of deterioration of the frame due to its age, but will always work to ensure that the ramps are safe to use.

“If more substantial repairs are needed the council will, of course, take action within the limitations of its maintenance budget to carry out the needed works.”

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