Council agrees to help move skate park

By Patrick LowmanA COUNCIL has agreed to help fund the relocation of a £40,000 skateboard park that it had helped set up and then had ordered to be pulled down.

By Patrick Lowman

A COUNCIL has agreed to help fund the relocation of a £40,000 skateboard park that it had helped set up and then had ordered to be pulled down.

Babergh District Council officers ordered Glemsford Parish Council to remove the skateboard park in the village's Tower Meadow in September after a resident made a number of complaints about noise from the site.

But the parish council was furious at being forced to demolish the park by the same authority that had helped fund the scheme and decide on its location.

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Equipment from the park was stored by the parish council, which refused to carry out a relocation unless Babergh District Council provided half the costs.

Parish clerk, Sara Turner, said at the time: “We are totally amazed by this fiasco. We have been forced to take the park away after only a year and now the kids have nothing once again.

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“We can't believe Babergh can do this after it helped us fund the original scheme and were heavily involved on deciding its location. There seems to be no communication between planning and environmental officials at Babergh.”

Babergh District Council's strategy committee has voted to donate £9,600 towards relocating the park to a more suitable site in the village, but the authority wants to set up an investigation team to find out how the situation arose and ensure it does not happen again.

A report to go before the council's overview and scrutiny committee today recommends three members should be appointed to scrutinise the situation.

Their task would be to stage a series of interviews with the relevant officers involved in the scheme before drawing up a report to be discussed by the council in May.

It is hoped the findings of the report will help the council ensure it does not get tangled up in such a situation again.

Babergh District Council's head of leisure and community services, Tim Mutum, said the idea of the investigation was to review the circumstances leading up to the need to re-site skateboard and other equipment at Glemsford to a new location.

He added it would also ensure the process and procedures had been put in place so that a similar situation would not arise again in the future.

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