Skatepark threat lifted

PUBLISHED: 12:08 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 May 2010

Regular users of the skatepark

Regular users of the skatepark

MID Beds District Council has come to the rescue of Biggleswade skate park. Threats to close the park by the Biggleswade Three-style Association were carried out on Friday night after it failed to pay its annual insurance premium of £4,600. Biggleswade To

MID Beds District Council has come to the rescue of Biggleswade skate park.

Threats to close the park by the Biggleswade Three-style Association were carried out on Friday night after it failed to pay its annual insurance premium of £4,600.

Biggleswade Town Council had offered £2,000 just days earlier but refused to pay the full amount. Now the district council will also chip in £2,600 to keep the park open for another year.

Association project co-ordinator Ken Lynch was furious with the town council for not backing them, saying: "There is no money left in the association bank account so Biggleswade Town Council should have paid the insurance and promised to keep it clean.

"The association cannot afford to pay the insurance or keep the place clean. I am too old to keep going down there with association chairman Rex Skinner. Two pensioners cannot do the work.

"We have been abandoned by the town council. Mid Beds District Council said we couldn't use the park for fundraising events involving music because the noise might disturb nearby residents, residents who did everything they could to prevent the skate park being built."

But Biggleswade mayor Cllr Wendy Smith immediately hit back at the criticism, saying: "They are holding a gun to our heads and I don't like it.

"The association has not carried through their original promises to meet the costs of the skate park.

"I do feel for the children but they have been given false promises. It is unfair that people are trying to make political mileage out of this.

"I cannot accept the fact they cannot play music on the site to raise funds. There are many other ways to raise funds.

"We do try and support many youth organisations in the town and it would be unfair to spend almost a third of this budget on one project."

But a fresh appeal from Mr Lynch to Mid Beds District Council's head of community services Roy Waterfield saved the day for the park.

"They immediately said they would help so the fence will come down on Saturday morning and the kids can skate again," said a delighted Mr Lynch.

Mr Waterfield will meet members of Biggleswade Town Council and the Biggleswade Threestyle Association tomorrow (Friday) to try and thrash out a plan that will resolve the skate park's problems.

"I don't think there is any doubt in the value the skate park has in improving the quality of life for young people of Biggleswade and what impact its closure could have on the children and young people of Biggleswade and wider community in terms of their health, safety and enjoyment.

"Biggleswade is the largest town in Mid Beds and Mid Beds District Council are keen to see this much needed facility for young people in Biggleswade stay open and will do everything we can to achieve this outcome.

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