Children risk injury using damaged skatepark

Ben Williams and Nathan Turner at the Horsham skatepark
Ben Williams and Nathan Turner at the Horsham skatepark

Children are putting themselves in danger in their desperation to use a skatepark in Southwater which has been closed for over a month.

Ben Williams and Nathan Turner who are both 11, have said that whilst some children have been chosing to stay indoors since the closure, others have pulled down the fences in order to access the damaged equipment, putting themselves in great danger.

Nathan, of Robin Close, said he has contact the Parish Council through their Facebook page but has received little response.

He said: “They closed it ages ago and they’ve let it sit there. They haven’t told us anything. I have asked and asked and asked and they haven’t said anythin, they don’t seam bothered.

“The older ones like the BMX’s are taking down the fences which is costing money.

“Some kids actually break it. They find cracks and pull them open further.”

Ben, who lives in Eversfield, said that since the closure a lot of kids are staying at home playing their computer games rather than going outside and getting exercise.

“They either go to Horsham or stay at home or go to the Lintot Square,” he said.

On May 4, Southwater Parish Council posted on its Facebook wall: “We are sorry, but we have had to fence off the Skateboard Park in the Country Park, as it needs some repair. Please do not try to use it until it is safe again. We will keep you informed of progress via our Facebook page.”

On May 17 Southwater Parish Council posted on their Facebook wall: “The Skateboard Park is still closed, whilst it awaits repair. Do not try to access the ramps by climbing over or under the safety fencing. Do not remove the bolts and do not damage the fencing itself. Every time we have to have the fencing/bolts repaired or replaced, it costs a lot of money – money that we would rather spend on repairs.”

“Please work with us, whilst we try to get the park safe and accessible again – we really are doing our best.”

Fran Williams, Ben’s mother, has been a ‘taxi service to and from Horsham skate park’ since the closure and is most concerned that the village has lost one of its few facilities for children.

“There’s no where for kids to go and they end up going around the streets. It’s quite a big thing especially with the weather as it is and the half term coming up.

“It gets them off the PS3 and makes them be fit and healthy and there’s nothing in Southwater for them to do.”