Despite the attempts by some in positions of responsibility in Lancing to claim that the anti-social behaviour problems have gone away and there is ‘nothing to see here’, alas I have continued to receive complaints about Beach Green.
Hence last Thursday I organised a private meeting at The Perch primarily to listen to some of the young skaters as to how they think things can be improved. We were joined by some of the local councillors who have been working closely with the skaters as well as police officers and representatives from the youth group Electric Storm Youth.
We heard some really good input from some of the teenagers and it is clear that the vandalism has little to do with the skaters themselves but the area has been something of a magnet for troublemakers.
Giving young people greater ownership of the way the skate park is run is key with clear lines of reporting when things go wrong and the appropriate agencies stepping up in a timely manner.
I am grateful to the many parents and others who have offered their help and on Friday, with councillors Carson and Carol Albury, I visited the much larger skate park at The Level in Brighton to meet the council officers involved with setting that up to learn how they had dealt with some of the teething problems.
As a first step we will be setting up a Facebook page dedicated to the site and that needs to go hand in hand with a well-publicised code of conduct so that everyone knows there are rules that need to be followed. The kids were also keen to have a competition day which will also help to get everyone together to feel part of the community responsible for keeping the site safe and welcoming.
There are a number of other physical improvements which could be made and I will be putting together a fuller write up together with the results of the survey I launched before Christmas. I will include this in my next newsletter and then send a formal proposal to Lancing Parish Council, who are ultimately responsible.
I have received a string of emails from Shoreham Beach residents concerned about some of the fall-out from the ongoing Adur Tidal Defence works. I am pleased to say that the local boss of the Environment Agency responsible has agreed to a ‘drop-in’ to deal with all these complaints which I will be coordinating with councillor Joss Loader ,probably at lunchtime on January 27. I will confirm details in next week’s column but if you would like to come, email me or Joss.
Finally a reminder that I am holding a public meeting at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy at 6.30pm next Thursday to discuss the Sompting West development – although at this stage the developers still haven’t confirmed their willingness to attend and answer questions, but there will be other speakers in any case.
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