Council under spotlight over skatepark

AN INQUIRY has been launched into the conduct of a council which ordered a £40,000 skatepark(crrct) to be pulled down less than a year after it was built.

AN INQUIRY has been launched into the conduct of a council which ordered a £40,000 skatepark(crrct) to be pulled down less than a year after it was built.

However residents in Glemsford have criticised Babergh District Council, saying that the matter should have been looked into sooner and called for a larger inquiry to take place.

A special panel of members from the council's overview and scrutiny committee have been assigned to review the circumstances surrounding the authority's decision, which saw the skatepark pulled down last year after the idea was given the green light by council chiefs.

Glemsford Parish Council was left fuming last September when the district council ordered it to remove the park from Tower Meadow after complaints from a neighbour about noise.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council confirmed that an inquiry into possible inadequacies in the way the matter had been dealt with was now under way, and that a final report would be completed next month.

"The panel will review the circumstances that resulted in the inappropriate siting of the skatepark and equipment at Glemsford, and will further consider whether the procedures were satisfactory."

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Anna Watkinson, vice-chairman of Glemsford Parish Council, said: "The council has been asked to give a statement to Babergh with regards to the problems over the skateboard park.

"I would like to have seen a bigger inquiry and the issue should have been looked at much sooner than now.

"The youngsters in the village worked really hard to raise around £2,000 towards the cost of their park, and now they have been left without one. There is very little for them to do in the village as it is and at the moment it doesn't look as though we will be able to relocate the park in the very near future.

"We hope to be able to buy some land which backs on to the village playing field, which is exactly where we wanted to put the skatepark in the first place but Babergh told us it was too far out of the village."

The parish council has been told Babergh might fund half of the total cost of relocating the park, which is expected to be around £20,000.

Mrs Watkinson added: "I don't see why we should be expected to pay the other half of the money when it was not our fault the park had to be taken down, and I just hope the council admits that it made a mistake." said Mrs Watkinson.

A full report of the findings from the inquiry will be presented to the council's overview and scrutiny panel on May 25.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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