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Church foretells of skaters' demise

PUBLISHED: 03:19 29 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

CHURCH leaders in Ipswich plagued by skateboarders have welcomed moves to try to ban the practice near ancient buildings elsewhere in Suffolk.

Fed-up Mike Ames, independent councillor in Bury St Edmunds, has called on fellow councillors to support his call for a blanket ban on skateboarding and in-line skating after complaints from business groups and the public.

CHURCH leaders in Ipswich plagued by skateboarders have welcomed moves to try to ban the practice near ancient buildings elsewhere in Suffolk.

Fed-up Mike Ames, independent councillor in Bury St Edmunds, has called on fellow councillors to support his call for a blanket ban on skateboarding and in-line skating after complaints from business groups and the public.

Mr Ames has suggested invoking a bylaw to rid historic town centre of the four-wheel and two-wheel menace.

But workers at the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese headquarters have come up with a better plan to thwart teenage frolics in the nearby area of Ipswich's St Nicholas church – to build a conference centre and carpet the area with grass.

The graveyard of the disused church in has become a playground for skateboarders and a magnet for litterbugs but the area may disappear under a new landscaping project, according to plans lodged with Ipswich Borough Council.

Nick Clarke, spokesman for the diocese, said that the new look would be part of a proposed conference centre based around the church, if borough planners give the blueprint the nod.

"We are going to grass over that whole area," he said. Of the Bury man's bid to create a bylaw, he added: "It's an interesting development but the problem of all bylaws is their enforcement.

"As far as St Nicholas is concerned, at the moment there are plans with Ipswich Borough Council planning department to development it into a resource and conference centre.

"We anticipate the problem disappearing as and when the plans are approved and the work begins."


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