Teens take campaign for skateboard park in Mattishall, near Dereham, to parish council

A group of teenagers who are going door-to-door to canvass support for a skateboard park in their village have pleaded their case before the parish council.

Nearly 300 residents of Mattishall, near Dereham, have signed the petition since 14-year-old Ben Cordle launched the campaign with friend Will Tyler, 13, two weeks ago.

Their delegation of about nine youngsters, plus parents, which addressed parish councillors at their meeting on Monday April 2, was so big extra chairs had to be brought in.

The youths have collected signatures in the street, set up a Facebook page, written an article for the village magazine and asked a farmer if he could donate any land.

Ben said: 'Basically there's a lot of us who go on scooters but we don't really have anywhere to go. We just went down a road. If we want to go on any ramps you have to go to Dereham. We thought it would be good to have a skate park we can just ride our bikes to.

'[The parish councillors] were quite happy to discuss it with us. I think they thought it would be a good idea, but there were some problems like location and costs.

'There are obviously going to be three or four people in Mattishall who don't want a skateboard park because of reasons like graffiti and vandalism. It's about persuading everyone that it's a good idea.'

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He said he would now be doing research about the facilities campaigners would like and what other villages have achieved, and hoped someone would donate some land.

His mother Nicola Cordle said: 'I'm proud of Ben. I just think it's amazing how it's come together. It's probably surprised him the amount of people who have willingly signed it.'

The group has been asked to make a presentation to the annual parish council meeting on Wednesday May 23.

Parish council chairman Richard Norton said: 'We thought they did very well. They spoke well and presented themselves well and the parish council is certainly prepared to consider this.'

To help the campaign, contact Mrs Cordle on 01362 858510.

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