Kids want skatepark

WE want a skatepark!That's the cry today from frustrated Felixstowe youngsters who are fed up with having nowhere to practice their skateboarding and have to travel to other towns to use proper jumps and ramps.

WE want a skatepark!

That's the cry today from frustrated Felixstowe youngsters who are fed up with having nowhere to practice their skateboarding and have to travel to other towns to use proper jumps and ramps.

They are demanding that leisure chiefs provide proper facilities – and have launched a petition and an action group to fight their cause.

Youth workers and town councillors are supporting the young people's campaign, giving them advice on how to tackle local councils.


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Felixstowe has just one skateboard area on Cavendish Park, but the £10,000 facility comprises little more than a tarmac strip and dip which has become flooded and unused.

Youngsters instead play on pavements and raised edges of grass and flower beds on The Triangle in Hamilton Road – to the annoyance of shoppers and traders.

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Parent Paul Copsey, of Ferry Road, Felixstowe, said a park was needed for skateboarders and BMX riders and suggested Brackenbury sports centre.

"This is unlikely to be a passing phase as involvement with these two recreation pastimes runs deeply into both children's and teenager culture today," he said.

"Colchester, Ipswich and Stowmarket have all recognised very early that this is a critical area of recreation and have reacted constructively by creating facilities for the children."

Mr Copsey, whose son Tom has sent a petition to Suffolk Coastal council, felt Brackenbury would be best because it would take children away from the seafront arcades and town centre, ensure safety is controlled, and improve the family facilities at the centre.

He suggested gaining sponsorship and lottery grants to pay for the project and that an entry fee could be charged.

His son Tom said: "Skateboarders are having to go to the main part of the town and while doing so they are getting on everybody's nerves, but they wouldn't have to do that if they had a proper skate park."

Youngsters attended a meeting at the Level 2 youth project in Hamilton Road and have started a second petition calling for a skatepark. They have also formed a committee to plan their campaign.

"The young people are very enthusiastic about this project and they had a very good first meeting and a large number attended, and the petition is going very well," said a Level 2 spokeswoman.

"Two of our trustees – Barry Gillings and Gordon Stirrat – are councillors and they have said they will help take the issue forward."

Joe Liggett, leisure services manager at Suffolk Coastal, said the council was looking at providing a skatepark for Felixstowe.

Brackenbury was also not the best site as it was in a quiet housing area, and a skatepark would break current noise pollution laws and be closed down shortly after opening. Langer Park would probably be the site.

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