A skatepark should not have been demolished, according to one of the facility’s trustees.
Most of the ramps at Sandy Skatepark in Sunderland Road were taken down in July immediately after a safety inspection.
It revealed that the ramps were dangerous so Sandy Town Council, which runs the skatepark, agreed that they should be dismantled.
Now Ken Lynch, who is Sandy Skatepark’s project co-ordinator as well as one of three trustees, has said that the council panicked and members should have waited before removing the equipment.
But Sandy Town Council’s clerk, Delia Shephard, said the council acted promptly to ensure the youngsters’ safety.
Ken, who is also a town councillor, is asking the council to pay the £25,000 to £50,000 cost to replace the ramps.
He said: “I’m asking Sandy Town Council for compensation. They can take that out of their reserves.
“I feel that the kids have been let down. I would hope that Sandy Town Council would donate the money to buy the new ramps.”
Ken, who organised the construction of the skatepark a decade ago, is also applying to Sport England for a grant but he is aware that the competition is fierce.
Delia said: “The reason it was immediately dismantled is because the advice was that there was no way to make it safe either in the short term or the long term. There seemed to be no benefit to delay.”
The inspectors were able to immediately remove the ramps after condemning them.
She said that it would have been impossible to ensure the children’s safety merely by fencing off the area as this would not have prevented determined youngsters from getting in.
Delia added: “What the councillors have said so far is that they will support the Skatepark Association as far as they can. The council wants to see the skatepark equipment replaced.
“We expected the Skatepark Association to come to us with a cost proposal but so far they haven’t come forward with anything. We know there are a lot of members of the community who are keen to help Ken or so it appeared at the public meetings.”
The town council will be happy to support a community group that takes the lead in raising funds and replacing the ramps because the group could apply for grants which town councils are not able to access.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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