Action taken by a committee to discourage scooter riders from using a skatepark in Grantham was defended this week.
As reported in last week’s Journal, parents are concerned by bullying tactics used by BMX riders to remove younger children on scooters from G-Zone in Wyndham Park.
But committee members say they are fed up with having to repair the damage scooters cause, while founder of the skatepark Pc Steve Cummings says the skatepark will be destroyed if scooter riders continue to use it.
Pc Cummings, who led the £54,000 fund-raising and build project in 2004, said: “The park was only ever meant to be for BMXs, inline skates and skateboards, and that’s what all the funding was for.
“The way it’s going the park will have to close because it can’t sustain the damage. The young kids don’t understand that.”
Jenny Sutherland is treasurer. She took over responsibility after seeing the park remaining closed too often.
She said: “The lads are having to mend it and that’s their frustration. The scooter wheels are hitting the wood and making holes.”
Mrs Sutherland agrees that needs are evolving and she hopes parents and people in the community can help to raise money or provide skills to adapt the park so it can be used by all the children.
However, Pc Cummings fears the park is “doomed” if scooters are allowed on in the meantime and can foresee the park closing and being “bulldozed”.
A prime concern of parents, reported last week, was a threatening message on the skatepark’s Facebook page. The cover photo showed graffiti reading: “Scooter kids will be shot dead!” The photo was taken down on Wednesday by Pc Cummings.
Despite this threat, Mrs Sutherland said she is not aware of any threatening behaviour at the park.
She hopes the community will get behind the skatepark and would like to see parents joining the newly formed committee. Funding is very low, the most recent cash injection of £245 coming from a bag-pack at Asda on Sunday.
Recent help by the soon-to-be-disbanded 168 Pioneer Regiment, based at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham, saw structural work carried out, for which the committee is very grateful.
Anyone who can help with either funding or skills, or who would like to join the committee, is asked to pop into the tea room at Wyndham Park to see Mrs Sutherland, or write her a letter.