(L-R) Cllr Jim Kenyon, Town Clerk Chris Wright, Cllr Eric Payne, Cllr John Bunting and Cllr Mike Gittus
Tuesday 7th June 2016 – Alcester Town Council have taken ownership of the completed skatepark on Jubilee Fields, this has been a project the Council have spent a lot time putting into place with the support of the Alcester Youth Council.
Skating has been part of young people’s culture for over 50 years with skateboarding being the third most popular recreational activity for kids between 6 and 18 years old. Many of Alcester’s young adults will have grown up with the previous skatepark and will agree that the facility gave them a positive effect on their lives. Those that are now parents may find that their interest is rekindled as their children get into it. It’s a great way for a family to spend time together yet without requiring a lot of planning, expense, or preparation.
BMX events are cycling’s most recent Olympic discipline (it debuted at Beijing 2008), in Rio there are men’s and women’s individual events. Skateboarding is also being seriously considered as an Olympic sport as these extreme sports continue to grow at an exponential rate since the 1970s. The extreme sports are still a rapidly growing area that should be supported and actively encouraged and we need to support our youth who wish to pursue active, healthy lifestyles.
The skating and BMX culture is based on mutual respect, social networking, artistic expression and an appreciation of the environment. It’s a way of life that can be learned early, and is proven to positively effect those who take part. This is particularly evident at skateparks, which are nurturing the potential for a more caring community (Wheelscape.co.uk). These people may not know each other socially outside of skateboarding but at the skatepark they are friends and colleagues. The brotherhood of skateboarders has strong bonds that cross economic, geographic, and even language barriers. Skateparks are a great way of starting that kind of social cohesion right here (skatepark.org).
Every good skatepark has a group of regular users and Alcester Town Council hope that these central members of the skatepark community will become the stewards of that facility. It has been disheartening to see the mindless vandalism of the site before it was even completed. Alcester Town Council understand that graffiti can be a problem during these fledgling months as locals leave their mark on the new attraction. Anti-graffiti coatings are not recommended as they are slippery and the porous nature of concrete make other methods of removing the paint less effective. Therefore, Alcester Town Council would like to establish a zero-tolerance policy towards graffiti of an offensive or slanderous nature. Those caught may face prosecution for the criminal damage they have caused. Alcester has many skilled artists; we shouldn’t let the mindless actions of the unskilled minority undermine the creative ability of others.
As with other incidents across our play areas in the town Alcester Town Council call upon anyone witnessing any damage to report it to the Police on their non-emergency number 101 and also to the Town Council on 01789 766084.