High Halstow Parish Council

 

Skateboard Equipment

The Parish Council are considering and have applied for funding for a half pipe piece of skateboard equipment. We would like your thoughts on where this could be sited on the recreation field. One place could be between the kick wall and the youth shelter at the back of the recreation field(photo below shows this area). The equipment is 1.2m high by 3.6m wide by 9m long. This is an ongoing project and has been up for consideration since 2011.

If you would like to comment or see photos of the equipment please contact Chris Watson on 01634 256529 or email

Chris.watson123@btinternet.com

Information and photos can also be seen at the monthly surgery on June 10th at Kings Kitchen in the Memorial Hall 10.30am – 12.00pm, or at the Parish Council Meeting on June 11th in the Memorial Hall at 8.00pm.

We are consulting on this project, so please give us your thoughts.

 

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5 Responses to Skateboard Equipment

  1. Dan Cash says:

    Sadly, the first people to stand up against anything even remotely aimed at fulfilling even the smallest youth orientated requests in the village have no connection with the broader aspects of village life.

    I don’t have any children that live in our village but I can see the recreational values and benefits for the kids in general, but lets face it it’s been the same objectionable views here for at least 30 years!

    All they ask is for is a small piece of equipment, and if built professionally, would not be a hazard, wouldn’t create any more noise than the rest if the equipment already near by.

    I would gladly help with any arrangements in the siting, building, Etc.,
    Balls are not a hazard to skaters or BMX riders, or I think they may object to it themselves!

    As a last note, it’s time we stopped thinking all kids are noisy and hazardous and give something that will give them an outdoor activity that doesn’t involve balls!

  2. High Halstow Parish Council says:

    At the Parish Council meeting on 11th June it was agreed subject to costs being approved that the half pipe would be purchased. For the location taking into account the cricketers issue of the site line behind the bowlers arm the half pipe would be placed to the right of the Kick Wall looking from the car park. Views are still being sought before the final decision on location is made. Please let your comments continue

  3. Paul Duckworth says:

    Just to add, the cricket club have an entire field to enjoy their hobby, which we have no objection to at all. The children of the village have requested an area which is very minimal in comparison. I really don’t think we should be depriving them of a safe area to practice their hobby. Remember, the alternative is the road!

  4. Paul Duckworth says:

    From what I have heard, engagement with the wider audience in the village has been an issue for the Parish Council for many years. This issue has most definitely not been the case with regard to the skatepark. Many children from the village have requested this piece of equipment over the last few years and have made the effort to attend several Parish Council meetings and have represented themselves well. Apart from the very well run Youth Club in the village, there are no facilities in the village for the older children in the village. If you look at any facility like this in any village you’ll find it is well utilised and a more pleasant environment than you’d think.

    The location suggested is about as far away from any houses as you could possibly hope for in the recreation ground.

    To provide a counter to the above comment, I would like to answer David’s concerns:

    1. The recreation ground is a very public amenity and has numerous items of play equipment situated around it. These items vary in size and impact. I would say it is exactly in keeping with the surrounding environment which has a high focus on the younger community in our village. In terms of placement, the location is away separated from the larger items and also fits in a spare space that is available within the ground.

    2. Assuming that the Millenium Walk is the path that runs from Christmas Lane to the village hall, the half-pipe would be the other side of the kick wall so is actually further away from the path and would not impact on the path at all. In fact, maturing trees will have the effect of shielding the path environment from the kick wall, half-pipe and youth shelter.

    3. The bench can still be used by anyone. I’m not sure that the bench’s only use case is quiet contemplation. Sound from all areas of the ground will travel… Children (very thankfully) will make some noise while enjoying themselves, whatever they are doing, whether that’s playing football, on the swings or on the skatepark.

    4. The youth shelter and the kick wall are already in close proximity of the cricket ground. These areas are already subject to the risk that you describe. As for the line of sight issues, I think we live in a world where we have to share the facilities that we have. Again, the youth shelter and kick wall are already there so will be used by people when the cricket ground is in use. Football has restarted in the village so I assume it’s possible to have a cricket match on at the same time as football. Does this cause an issue?

    Skateparks are not rowdy and loud places and probably produce less noise from the users than playparks and football matches.

    5. Users of skateparks develop many skills. One of them is avoiding other users and items of skate equipment that they may find coming towards them from an unexpected direction. Balls will be just another one of those items. The users of the kickwall have nothing to fear from the skatepark. Due to gravity and the nature of a half-pipe, balls are very unlikely to come to a stop on the equipment itself.

    Unfortunately, people are can be quick to provide a negative response to something without providing an alternative. The key to our community is the togetherness. I’m more than happy to discuss this further, although as has been demonstrated previously the children and adults supporting this initiative have engaged with the community on many occasions over the last three years.

  5. David Lapthorn says:

    The siting of the proposed skateboard facility is important for all. There is an appreciable need for some facilities to help entertain those interested in skateboarding, but due regard must be given to those using existing facilities in the village. The suggestion that the half-pipe be situated between the kick-wall and green shelter is flawed on the grounds that:

    1. The proposed half-pipe is a big structure and will be out of keeping with the immediate environment.
    2. The Millennium Walk is, at last, developing into a defined space, with maturing trees. To border this with a structure at least 1.2 metres high and 9 metres long will reflect poorly on the environmental impact of the Walk.
    3. Many people of all ages sit on the adjacent bench during the day, enjoying a degree of peaceful reflection. Apart from the shelter, this is the only bench on the Recreation Ground. Users will find it difficult to ponder with the sound of skateboarding and boarders so close.
    4. The proposed site is in direct line of sight of some of the cricket pitches, and in range of all. Whilst the sightscreen will reduce the distraction of batsmen during a game, many players hold up the game whilst people move either side of the sight screen – not just directly behind the bowler’s arm. At 9 metres long, the pipe is twice the size of the sightscreen. Even if the home side were ever to get used to such distractions, the same cannot be said of visiting players. Almost every game sees a cricket ball cross the boundary fence on the full (the main reason for the style being fitted to the fence). Whilst there have been no recorded instances of injury, there have been near misses. In the normally peaceful environment of the Recreation Ground, calls from the cricket ground for people on the Rec to avoid an incoming ball are easily heard. This may not be the case with the exuberance and background noise that is likely to attach to the skateboard facility. Kent Cricket League and Kent Village League rules to not allow for players to inhibit their prowess with bat or ball – if a ball is there to be hit, it will be hit.
    4. The relative proximity of the kick-wall means that balls will undoubtedly enter the half-pipe which would present a hazard to those using the facility and the footballer using the kick-wall – often young children.


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