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Hundreds want to see new skate park built
More than 700 people have signed a petition calling for a skate park in Oxford.
Young people, their parents and campaigners will present the petition to North Hinksey Parish Council on Thursday.
Youngsters want the council to fund a new facility at the Louie Memorial Playing Field in Botley.
A skating bowl known as the Botley Bowl was put out of action at the site after a van was dumped in it and set alight in 2009.
And campaigners want the council to put the £12,600 insurance money towards a new project.
Dad-of-two Darren Blase, who has been campaigning for the new facility, said: “There has been a large group of volunteers knocking on doors for the last month.
“It is somewhere for the young people to go. At the moment they are having to go to Abingdon or Faringdon. That is hassle for parents.”
The 42-year-old Cedar Road resident said: “You get more complaints from local people saying they are skating under the A34 and the car park in Botley.
“We are hoping to be able to change their mind with the amount of signatures we have got and support.”
Parish council chairman Andrew Pritchard was unavailable for comment. The council has previously said a survey delivered to homes showed “no overwhelming desire” for a new facility. Council member Eric Batts said member support for the facility had waned since 10 new councillors joined after elections last year.
The Conservative said: “It is a lost opportunity. The young people don’t have anywhere to go, they are not going to go to Oxford.
“They are not recognising what the young people of Botley want. The parish council needs to take notice.” Long-term plans for about 300 new homes in the area will add to demand, he said.
More than 100 people have shown their support for a Facebook page calling fora skate park, which would also be open to BMX riders.
Julie Wixey wrote on the page: “This is a really good idea. Teenagers frequently get a bad press. “The local children need an area where they can ride, scoot etc safely.”
The parish council will meet next Thursday at Seacourt Hall, Chapel Way, Botley, at 8pm. The public can attend.
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