New Blackbird Leys skatepark set to get added attractions

Parish council chairman Gordon Roper at the skatepark

Parish council chairman Gordon Roper at the skatepark Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter. Please call me on (01865) 425411

AFTER a four-year wait, the official opening of a £60,000 skatepark on an Oxford estate has been further delayed so it can be expanded.

The Frys Hill skatepark project in Blackbird Leys was due to open at the end of October, but now the formal ribbon-cutting isn’t expected to take place until early January.

Although some children have already started using the half pipe that has been installed, Blackbird Leys Parish Council want time to make the site even bigger.

Councillors are to due to meet the contractor next week about further expansions to the site, which include more railings for skaters to practise their moves.

Parish council chairman Gordon Roper said: “We are having a meeting on Tuesday with Groundwork where we will talk about what else we can do to make it even better.

“We’ve asked Groundwork for a breakdown of costs on what else we can do and what other equipment is there as we don’t feel there is enough there.

“I went down on one of the days Oxford United were playing and there must have been 30 kids there.

“I went over and spoke to them and the huge majority said they couldn’t be happier with it. They said they were over the moon about having something to do.

“However, some said they were a little disappointed and wanted a few more things, so we are going to try to accommodate that.

“We might even consult with residents about lighting so they can use it in the dusk, although we wouldn’t want them using it all night.”

There were some problems during construction work, as building equipment was vandalised.

But Mr Roper dismissed fears it could become trashed once it is finally completed.

Blackbird and Greater Leys have been without skating facilities since 2009 when a park in Cuddesdon Way was demolished to make way for a nursery.

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The mitigation cash set aside for the nursery, known as section 106 money, was then to be ploughed into creating somewhere for the youth of the area to play.

However, the development stalled and children said they were forced to travel to Abingdon and Thame to skate.

Mr Roper added: “Blackbird Leys is one of the most active parish councils. We do understand our youngsters need something to do to keep them out of trouble, and we are constantly on the lookout to make things better for them and do what we can.

“It will keep many of them busy and give them something fun to do, which is so important. It’s been four years in the making, so let’s see where we are when we get it properly up and running.”

Comments (5)

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7:25pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Myron Blatz says...

Who is responsible for the Health & Safety issues? Whilst Mr Roper likes to promote the Parish Council he currently Chairs, I thought that unlike in neighbouring Littlemore, the Blackbird Leys Parish Council doesn't administer parks and recreation facilities - or isn't the skateboard park a recreation facility?
Who is responsible for the Health & Safety issues? Whilst Mr Roper likes to promote the Parish Council he currently Chairs, I thought that unlike in neighbouring Littlemore, the Blackbird Leys Parish Council doesn't administer parks and recreation facilities - or isn't the skateboard park a recreation facility? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -2

9:35pm Sat 24 Nov 12

dant40 says...

£60.000. Will that stop muggings. Will that stop drug crimes. No!!. Put the money to that and clean the streets up and make it safe. Now when people say we have nothing so thats why we hang out on the streets so you waste money like that. In the 80's as teenagers we was never bord. We played in the street or park for hours with adult there and then parents marched groups of us up to shotover and swimming. The prob is today some parents dont have anytime to do stuff with them. What a shamble.
£60.000. Will that stop muggings. Will that stop drug crimes. No!!. Put the money to that and clean the streets up and make it safe. Now when people say we have nothing so thats why we hang out on the streets so you waste money like that. In the 80's as teenagers we was never bord. We played in the street or park for hours with adult there and then parents marched groups of us up to shotover and swimming. The prob is today some parents dont have anytime to do stuff with them. What a shamble. dant40
  • Score: 1

11:12am Sun 25 Nov 12

Darkforbid says...

dant40,.. what an ****! Yep dude that 60k will stop crime in Oxford...
dant40,.. what an ****! Yep dude that 60k will stop crime in Oxford... Darkforbid
  • Score: -5

6:28pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

Dant40 the problem is that both parents now have to work 5-6 days a week just to make ends meet, and do not have the time or energy to be running their kids to shotover or where ever. Maybe if people were paid a living wage and the government reigned in the rogue landlords and energy companies ripping off the hard working people, then they would have more time to spend on activities with their children.
Dant40 the problem is that both parents now have to work 5-6 days a week just to make ends meet, and do not have the time or energy to be running their kids to shotover or where ever. Maybe if people were paid a living wage and the government reigned in the rogue landlords and energy companies ripping off the hard working people, then they would have more time to spend on activities with their children. Pavinder Msvarensy
  • Score: -76

8:38pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Myron Blatz says...

Yep, agree! Maybe the problem isn't so much a lack of skateboard or youth facilities, but simply too-many people (with many of the children and teenagers of today without much hope of any sort of sustainable work or careers in the future) being squeezed into large council/social housing developments to 'tick boxes' in a bid to meet housing provision targets. I feel sorry for the youngsters, because it's the adults and especially the politicians who seem unable or unwilling to address the issues inherited from one government, to the next.
Yep, agree! Maybe the problem isn't so much a lack of skateboard or youth facilities, but simply too-many people (with many of the children and teenagers of today without much hope of any sort of sustainable work or careers in the future) being squeezed into large council/social housing developments to 'tick boxes' in a bid to meet housing provision targets. I feel sorry for the youngsters, because it's the adults and especially the politicians who seem unable or unwilling to address the issues inherited from one government, to the next. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -2

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