Vandals blasted for skate park damage

A SKATE park in Felixstowe which became a reality 20 years after the idea was first mooted is being misused just 20 days after opening, it emerged today.

A SKATE park in Felixstowe which became a reality 20 years after the idea was first mooted is being misused just 20 days after opening, it emerged today.

Some skaters have been so keen to get the most out of their new playground in Orwell Green they have been tampering with electrical controls to keep the floodlights on longer.

A councillor for Suffolk Coastal District Council, which oversees the �180,000 skate park, has branded their behaviour as “selfish” and has threatened to switch off the lights permanently if the problem continues.

CCTV footage is currently being scoured to try to identify the suspects, while police have been asked to monitor the skate park at night.


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Responsible skaters are also up in arms.

James Hume, who runs the skate park's website (www.felixstoweskatepark.co.uk), said “These actions that people are taking in the short term to enable them to skate longer will damage people's long-term skating if the council takes the lights out completely.

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“People should be grateful we have got a skate park.”

The lights have been set to go off at its official closing time of 8.30pm, but it is believed they are sometimes being used as late as midnight.

Initially the perpetrators used pliers or a similar tool to unlock a metal box containing the floodlights' timing controls, prompting engineers to fit a bar and padlock to the door last Friday.

But the skaters soon overcame that hurdle by breaking off the bar. An engineer was on site earlier this week installing an even sturdier lock.

Councillor Doreen Savage, cabinet member for young people at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “I hope that the many well-behaved users of the skate park will recognise that the selfish actions of a few is putting at risk the night-time use of this much-needed facility and use their influence to stop any future problems.”

The skate park, off Grange Farm Avenue, was officially opened to a huge celebration on September 1.

The project has been backed by various groups including Level Two youth project, the Outdoor Playspace Fund and the LD Rope Trust.

Are you worried the floodlights may be taken away? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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