MORE than 200 young people in Westbury have signed a petition seeking improvements to the skate park in Penleigh Park.
The young people are also producing a short film to be submitted to Wiltshire Council to highlight what they’d like to see on the site.
They are hoping that alterations can be made so that during the winter months they can still make full use of the facilities. At the moment the cold and wet conditions make the surfaces treacherous, and during winter the park is unusable after darkness falls, which is often shortly after school finishes.
Top of the wish list for the skaters is some kind of shelter to keep the equipment dry, or just as a place to huddle, out of the elements. The skaters would also like to see floodlights installed so they can still skate safely after dark.
Eleven-year-old George Penny said, “We’d like a shelter and floodlights. I’ve signed the petition.
“When it rains the ramps get wet all the time and we can’t use them. There’s nothing else really to do around here.”
The petition has been circulating the Westbury schools and has been available at the Westbury Youth Club.
Chad McVeigh, 14, said, “I’d like a roof and floodlights, and CCTV as well. Last week some people started a fire here and we couldn’t go over the ramps.
“This is about all there is to do round here, other than stay in and play Xbox Live.”
The young people have been working with the Community Area Young People’s Issues Group (CAYPIG) to present their views.
Sally Willox, Westbury youth development co-ordinator said, “The issue came up at a CAYPIG meeting in September last year. The young people would like to see some improvements because when it gets cold and wet the surfaces become very slippery and can be quite unsafe. In winter as well when it’s dark at four o’clock then they can’t really use it. They invited the town council to a meeting in December, and have collected 200 signatures on a petition.”
In the next few weeks a short film about the skate park will be submitted to the council to make their case.
Sally added, “If there was lighting here then perhaps it could be on a timer. The young people are aware of the issues residents may have. They want to get their voice out there and let people know they’re working on it.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “Wiltshire Council are always keen to work with young people when they see opportunities for improving facilities around the county. We look forward to hearing how the young people want to develop Westbury Skate Park.”