Agenda item


To consider a report by the Team Manager, Parks and Bereavement Services, regarding the proposed installation of a skatepark in Alice Park.


The Sub-Committee considered a report which requested clarification regarding the amount of the design budget for the skatepark in Alice Park, its specific location and footprint size.


The Chair referred to past discussions on the skatepark including the 27 March 2017 meeting when Cllr Appleyard had proposed that the Sub-Committee request the Council to allocate £70k, of the £97k provisionally approved to provide a skate park facility.  The remaining balance totalling approximately £30k could then be allocated to provide improvements to other facilities within the park such as children’s play equipment.


He also drew members’ attention to the Cabinet member decision to release the funds for the skatepark project which had been agreed on 18 September 2017:


The Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency fully approve the capital budget totalling £97K for the development of a skate park at Alice Park, and for further capital improvements in the park’s facilities if this can be accommodated within the allocated budget.


The Chair then stated that despite many meetings, discussion and resolutions over a protracted period, there remains a dispute on the parameters and basis by which the skatepark is to be developed in Alice Park.  He moved the following proposal which aimed to clarify the necessary parameters so that officers are able to make progress on this new development:


1.  That the location of the proposed skate park will be within the fenced play area at the south west corner of the park.


2.  It will be designed with starters in mind and be no more than 200m2 area.


3.  That the Sub Committee wishes to exercise its right to accommodate "other park improvements in facilities" from the £97K allocated the Skate Park.  (See the Cabinet member decision above).


4.  The wording of the Cabinet members' decision on allocating the funds is acknowledged and the Sub Committee will allocate £25K of the fund to "other park improvements", the nature of which is to be agreed in consultation with park users and decided at a subsequent meeting.


This proposal was seconded by Cllr Norton.


Mark Cassidy, Team Manager, Parks and Bereavement Services, explained that officers required clarification on the parameters to avoid wasting funds or officer and contractor time on this project.


Cllr Norton stated that he felt the motion provided the necessary clarity.  He was happy with the proposed site location as this would be further away from residential areas.


Paul Hooper stated that a specific height should be specified for the skatepark.  He also expressed concern about disclosing the funds available to potential contractors.  Mark Cassidy explained that this was the usual procedure under a design and build contract.


Cllr Patterson queried whether the proposed location had been discussed with prospective skatepark users.  She had concerns about the health and safety implications of locating the facility closer to an area where younger children would be playing.  She also felt that the area was too small for a skatepark.


Cllr Appleyard stated that a group of residents had lobbied the Council for a skatepark facility.  The Council had then agreed to earmark £100k for the project and £3k had been spent on a consultation process.  The parks team had then put forward a location and budget and he understood that a way forward had been agreed at the last Sub-Committee meeting (to proceed with two options - £97k and £127k).  The £30k which had been raised by residents was not intended to replace any Council contribution.


He noted that members of the Sub-Committee had previously met on site in the park and had decided on the location.  He was concerned that if no agreement was forthcoming then the allocated funding would be lost.


Cllr Appleyard informed the Sub-Committee that he had obtained a sum of £1,500 to be spent on park improvements.  A bid had also been submitted to obtain funding to enable the paths to be joined up.  He expressed concern about the proposed location of the skatepark as it was closer to London Road where there would be more air pollution.


Cllr Appleyard then left the meeting stating that he felt unwell.


The quorum for the Sub-Committee is 3 voting members and therefore no decision on this matter could be made at this meeting.


Cllr Norton stated that he felt Cllr Appleyard was deliberately attempting to obstruct proceedings.

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