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Skate park still no closer to reality after another hurdle
CAMPAIGNERS for a new skate park in Botley say they were left disappointed after decisions stalled at a parish council meeting.
A motion was proposed by Councillor Simon Sellars to set up a working group to consider suitable leisure facilities in the area at the North Hinksey Parish Council meeting on Thursday.
It came after the council rejected the idea of building a skate park in Louie Memorial Field by seven votes to six in January.
The motion was passed at the latest meeting, but an amendment that stated no more leisure facilities would be added to the field was also granted.
The move comes days after campaigners said they were aiming to prove that councillors’ worries – that a skate park at the field would attract litter, noise and anti-social behaviour – were unfounded. Last year, a petition with 866 signatures backed a new facility. But the outcome has brought them no nearer getting what they wanted.
Mr Sellars said: “The amendment is flawed and there is no point in proceeding with my motion because of it – I’m disappointed.”
Skate park campaigner Emily Smith, 34, from Elms Rise, Botley, said: “I’m not surprised because the people who voted against it before were the same ones who voted against it this time.
“I’m disappointed they have missed an opportunity to create a facility that would benefit the whole community.
“The motion was trying to look at the campaign again and to consider a new location as well as other facilities than a skate park.
“I feel frustrated on behalf of the young people who started the campaign that the motion hasn’t gone through and I worry this all sends the wrong message.”
Darren Blase, 44, from Elms Rise, Botley, said: “I think the parish council is representing its own views when it should be representing the community’s.
“There were more than 800 people who signed a petition to have a new skate park.”
The new motion by Mr Sellars to establish a leisure facility working group was withdrawn.
The motion also proposed looking at alternative locations for a new skate park other than the Louie Memorial Field where there is currently a skate bowl.
Councillor David Kay said: “There is no mandate saying that we should not have any more facilities on the field.
“People are meant to go into discussions with an open mind.”
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