July 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 26, 2014
A skateboard ban in Norwich city centre is needed to stop pedestrians from being hit, a councillor has claimed.
Efforts to introduce an anti-skating by-law were approved by the city council’s cabinet yesterday, and must face full council next month.
If the local law is brought in, then skateboarders who continue to skate within the area to which it applies could be taken to court or given police cautions.
The by-law would cover a large part of the city centre including the memorial gardens, Hay Hill, Gaol Hill, The Forum, Castle Meadow, London Street, Exchange Street, St Andrews Street and the gardens at Norwich Castle.
Keith Driver, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, told yesterday’s meeting that skateboarding should not be permitted in the city centre.
“It is not safe for fellow citizens walking around, not fair on the elderly or vulnerable who have been hit, hurt and knocked over by skateboarders and often intimidated,” he said. “And it shows no respect to our fallen heroes who we honour at the war memorial.”
He said he had received dozens of emails supporting this, and there were many dedicated skateparks where young people could go - including a £300,000 skatepark at Eaton.
He hoped better signs would be introduced at the bus and train stations to guide people to local skateparks.
Andrew Boswell, councillor for Nelson ward, said he felt there should be some consultation with young people before introducing a by-law for fear of alienating them.
Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said the authority had received correspondence from as far afield as Beccles about the proposal.
Another concern expressed in a council report, calling for the by-law, was damage to the war memorial.
If full council agrees to the by-law proposal it would have to be advertised for four weeks before being submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation.