Skatepark vandalism fear

RESIDENTS are fed up with vandals plaguing their area - and fear it will only get worse when a new skatepark is built.

RESIDENTS are fed up with vandals plaguing their area - and fear it will only get worse when a new skatepark is built.

They are worried the £160,000 park will attract youths from all over Felixstowe to hang out near their homes with many of them not interested in skateboarding at all.

Louise Boyt, chairman of the Orwell Green Residents' Association, said a car had been attacked, the area littered with beer cans, and a garden wall covered in graffiti in the latest incidents.

“These instances are by no means isolated and follow a number of similar things which happen constantly,” said Mrs Boyt.


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“At the beginning of the summer my garden brick wall was pulled down, the green is always strewn with litter, normally empty beer cans and bottles - and this is supposed to be a designated alcohol restriction area.

“It is normal to hear loud shouting and noise on the green in the evenings and see the next day evidence of alcohol fuelled revelry.

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“The 'petty' vandalism is terrible. We have pots and garden ornaments broken or stolen, wooden fences being damaged, cars damaged and tyres let down.

“These instances are very disturbing to the residents who include many elderly people in sheltered accommodation as well as young families and people who work shifts.”

Residents were very worried about the skatepark to be built next year on the green in Grange Farm Avenue.

“People are afraid these instances of anti social behaviour will only worsen,” said Mrs Boyt.

“We are not saying the people who genuinely want to use the facility would be to blame, but we all know that around the county these facilities attract an unsavoury element which would only increase the problems we have.”

Association member Irene O'Connor said: “We are suffering anti-social behaviour now and have been for several years.

“Residents are fed up.”

Felixstowe police chief Insp Steve Gallant said the Safer Neighbourhood Team was looking at the problems and in the meantime patrols were being increased.

“We would hope the skatepark will divert the youngsters from such activity, generally caused by boredom and not having enough to do, and divert their energies into something positive,” he said.

Do you think the skatepark will make the situation worse? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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BAD weather has stopped builders finishing work on Woodbridge skatepark.

Recent heavy rain has left the ground too wet to put down special surfacing - which will probably now not be completed until the end of the year, delaying the launch event until January.

The skatepark for skateboarders, bladers and BMXers is being built behind Deben Swimming Pool.

“While everything is in place, from ramps and jumps to floodlights, the entire skatepark now has to be covered in a special skating surface and sanded smooth,” said Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Doreen Savage.

“Unfortunately, the work can only be carried out in decent weather, and progress has been slow due to the recent rain.

“The skatepark must also be checked by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to ensure that it is safe before people start using it.

“This is essential, as the RoSPA seal of approval will provide peace of mind for the skaters, boarders and bladers using the facility, and their families.”

Suffolk Coastal aims to have the skatepark finished next month, but says it is impossible to predict whether the weather and RoSPA will provide the favourable conditions necessary to meet this target.

“I can fully understand how frustrated local young people must feel about this latest delay but if all goes well the skatepark will be open at the end of the year,” said Mrs Savage.

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