A skatepark in New Mills? Coool. next time I need a bag of skunk I'll know where to go ;0)
So they're planning to build a skatepark in the local playing fields...
Skaters are one of the most creative sets of kids you'll find. I hate the way they get stereotyped. Some in Newcastle exhibit the kind of entrepreneurship and community spirit Cameron would cream himself over. They teach younger kids how to do tricks, their informal norms and conventions mean there is rarely any bother with other people, and they organise mini-tournaments to pay for building materials to improve spot a spot they've developed n some derelict land.
One of the most popular spots in Newcastle is the steps outside the law courts on the quayside. They've got an arrangement with the courts' security to use it after hours - if they were up to no good there is no chance that would happen. At Five Bridges in Gateshead (a skate plaza developed with and for skaters in collaboration with the council) the old people nearby complain when the skaters aren't there. One old woman phoned the police to get the chavs moved on so the skaters would return. She said they made her feel safe because they were occupying what was a very intimidating space when not being used. The local beat cop now gives his mobile number to the skateboarders and they ring him at the first sign of trouble from trouble makers.
There's another group who do photography and make films - some of the stuff is superb and wouldn't look out of place in a top magazine.
I think having a skate park would be a very positive move. The police would be monitoring it quite closely at first which means more patrols which means any real troublemakers will go somewhere else. As CaptJon says ^^, most of the kids in the park aren't the slightest bother to anyone, occasionally there's a few problems down by the lock-up garages but the police are usually there pretty quickly - the station is just round the corner and I'm sure my neighbour has them on speed dial. First sign of trouble and she's out there yelling at them to move on and dragging the poor police round.
It's small town NIMBYism at it's worst; fear of the unknown, Daily Wail style "put the fear of God up everyone". They're kids and they're playing in a park so they must be up to no good - the value of your house has just gone down and they'll probably give you cancer too. And having kids in a park means every bush will be crawling with paedophiles waiting to pounce on them.
Crazy-Legs, if the local council want some academic research to back up their plans drop me an email (in profile).
Will mail you tomorrow from work. Thanks.
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