South Molton skaters left without park during the half-term holiday
SOUTH Molton skate park has been forced to close, less than five years after it opened.
Since opening in 2006, the facility in the townâ€™s Central Park, has been beset by funding problems and will remain out of bounds to youngsters during the February half-term break pending urgent repairs and a long-term management plan to ensure its future.
A move to set up a charitable trust to oversee the skate park has stalled and a recent maintenance inspection identified â€œsafety issuesâ€ that forced its closure.
The Community Company, which formed a voluntary management committee with parents, said it had taken the reluctant decision to close the park immediately.
Chairman, Tryphena Huntingford, said: â€œWe are working to get the repairs done as soon as possible so that the park can be opened again quickly.
â€œWhilst we are in contact with the contractors, we hope to also get costs for upgrading work which needs to be identified in conjunction with users.
â€œWe would welcome input from users, their parents and any interested members of the community to ensure that the town retains an excellent, and ideally upgraded, park.
â€œHowever, the difficult issues remain cost and long-term management. If you would like to be involved with this community facility, either as a user or supporter, please come along to either of two meetings where the topic will be on the agenda.â€
The first meeting of South Molton Youth Council takes place Monday at 6.30pm in the Amory Centre. The issue will also be discussed at a Community Company meeting on Tuesday at the George Hotel, starting at 6.30pm.
â€œWe hope to have more information on fund-raising requirements and a timetable for reopening at Tuesdayâ€™s meeting,â€ added Mrs Huntingford.
Town councillor David Worden said it was particularly frustrating that the skate park had been forced to close during the February half-term break.
â€œThe problem is that there has never been an effective management committee to run the skateboard park,â€ he said.
â€œWe are hoping to set up a charitable trust to oversee the park and its running and plans are afoot to try and get trustees together and to formulate a business plan.
â€œHowever, a long-term solution to ensure its future is long overdue and needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.â€
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