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Teenagers face off against council over skatepark closed for more than three months

PUBLISHED: 15:08 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 27 September 2019

Attleborough Academy students at an Attleborough town council meeting, discussing the closed gaymers skatepark. Photo: Bethany Wales

Attleborough Academy students at an Attleborough town council meeting, discussing the closed gaymers skatepark. Photo: Bethany Wales

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Angry teenagers descended on a meeting of their town council to demand answers on the future of a closed skatepark - to be given the news they were hoping for.

Connaught Skate Park in Attleborough has been closed since the start of the summer holidays. Photo: Bethany WalesConnaught Skate Park in Attleborough has been closed since the start of the summer holidays. Photo: Bethany Wales

Six sixth formers from Attleborough Academy headed to today's meeting to ask when funds would be allocated to repair and replace Connaught skatepark, which has been closed since the start of the summer holidays.

They also expressed their frustration at the "obstructive" timing of the meeting, given that it was held on a weekday morning.

Councillors agreed that more than £25,000 for repairs and further money to build a new wheel park for BMX bikes was available and that cash historically earmarked for toilet repairs should be reassigned.

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Harry Weaver, 17, said he was relieved the money had been found, but frustrated it had taken so long to be addressed.

He said: "The skatepark has been in a state for such a long time and the fixes made so far haven't been enough to keep it open. It's always closed for maintenance which is a real problem for young people because there's nothing else for us to do here."

The group also expressed frustration that the meeting was held at 9am on a week day, as they argued this had made it impossible for many who used the park to attend due to school.

Amy Good, 17, told councillors: "Anything to do with the skatepark should involve us. As young people it feels like everything goes under the radar and things either happen or don't happen, but we don't know why. If we can't get involved because of the time the meetings are being held then how are we meant to understand the process?"

Attleborough town clerk, Gina Lopez, responded that the meeting would only be discussing whether funds were available and that skatepark users would be consulted about equipment once the planning stage was reached.

At the most recent full council meeting in September, councillors discussed whether it would be worth repairing existing equipment, which was deemed to be in a "state of disrepair" by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

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