Steyning skatepark needed for younger generations

Skate park
Skate park

While towns near Steyning and beyond have approved and built skatepark facilities for their youngsters, ours have waited patiently over 20 years and are now adults.

Some even have families of their own. This is not the fault of Steyning Parish Council but opponents who obstruct any change.

The parish council is once again revisiting its original plan to provide a skatepark facility. Previously, the council produced a well-designed plan which was put to residents in a town poll (16 per cent more ‘yes’ votes) and a public meeting (over 70 per cent in favour).

At an amenities committee meeting on June 26, Steyning Parish Council resolved to set in motion a working party to identify a suitable site, which, as previously, would include the Memorial Playing Field.

With increasing pressures on our young people and a need for recreational facilities for sound health and social reasons, it was time to grasp the nettle once more. The question of isolation and loneliness has been in the news recently.

Reports have identified that these social problems are not just experienced by the elderly, but that young people also suffer from such emotional difficulties.

Another generation of young people have grown up missing the opportunity of mixing with their peers enjoying healthy exercise with their friends and families in secure surroundings.

Unfortunately, litigation and legal challenges have delayed and prevented the council from making any progress. The young people can’t understand why clear democratic decisions have not been actioned.

Suitable sites were sought but only the Memorial Playing Field met all the criteria for affordability, pleasant surroundings in a central location, and most importantly, a safe environment. I recall that there had been a suggestion to encourage ownership by the youngsters by helping with landscaping and planting the area surrounding the skatepark with shrubs and flowers .

Facilities elsewhere, including Lancing, tend to be used by young people on scooters and bikes. The co-operation and friendship between users is wonderful to see.

I would ask families in Steyning to support the parish council in achieving their longstanding aim of providing a skatepark facility of which we can all be proud.

Mike Kelly

Kings Stone Avenue,

Steyning

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