Part of the leaflet distributed
to local homes in the area
Selected Resident's Comments
Here are some edited comments that we have
received by email, by phone and by post.
live near the Skate Park and have over the past month been
constantly kept awake by the banging of boards and bikes against
the metal ramps after 11pm. The noise seems to finish sometime
after midnight. We need to do something about this ill conceived
idea. If anything, have the park locked after 10pm.
I have noticed a number of youths ripping up the new trees and
trying to wreck the children's equipment. This must stop, or
all the efforts that have been so far invested in a communal
area for all to enjoy, will be wasted. Cars have also been vandalised
along Vansittart Road with wing mirrors being bent and other
damage being caused.
I do understand the importance of there being facilities for
younger members of our community, these facilities do however
need to be considered more carefully.
I don't have the solution but whoever does get our full support.
Thank you for bothering to circulate the newsletter over the
at Vansittart is a disgrace. The inclusion of a skate park has
encouraged the yob culture at the expense of young children who
cannot use the playground facilities without being confronted
by vandalism, loutish behaviour and illegal drinking. Green Lane
is being vandalised by louts going to and from the skate park
It is very obvious that the council tried to save a few pounds
by skimping on finishing the job properly with security cameras
and proper fencing. Why should local residents around Vansittart
have to put up with this activity whilst a vast investment is
made in eton college's facility at the lottery's expense? The
athletics ground should have been left and sports facilities
A precedent has been established that this is a good place to
congregate with impunity. It is now too late to remedy the situation
and the skate park should be demolished. Security cameras need
to be installed around the childrens play area and in the underpass
to discourage the illegal activities.
|As the mother
of a teenager who sometimes uses the skate park I would like
to add a few comments.
I think the skate park could be a great addition to the facilities
of teenagers in Windsor. However, I agree that not enough thought
has gone into this.
I rang the council the day before it officially opened to say
I was concerned that teenagers were down there in huge numbers
and late at night. I expressed my concern that local residents
would obviously be intimidated and upset and that thought should
have gone into supervision etc. I was told that the numbers would
soon die down and that it was a one week wonder which would settle
down. I was informed that they were "looking into"
a panic button in case the "children" got into difficulties.
These people obviously don't understand teenagers. Such a panic
button would simply be pressed all the time!
Personally I think there should be a park keeper in the evenings.
The kids could pay, say, £1 each to enter the zone which
could go towards wages. The less serious skaters would soon go
somewhere else and the whole thing could be monitored more safely.
What do you think? Is there any way of getting this sort of thing
off the ground?
I would much rather the situation was sorted out quickly and
safely rather than it all having to be shut down.
live no less than 300 yards from the new development and am therefore
most aware of the changes taking place in the vicinity.
In simple terms - a total disaster area and this is only the
beginning of a massive problem which will cost hundreds of thousands
of Council Tax money to put right one day soon UNLESS proper
control is effected immediately.
The problems are both environmental as well as social. Litter
has quadrupled, to as far as where I live with young people showing
no respect for others property and general street cleanliness.
The teenage community which has inundated the rec have no respect
or regard for the young childrens play area. I was particularly
vocal to a couple of them when they tried to ignore my polite
request to move off the play equipment so that my 3 yr old son
could play without any sense of threatening behaviour.
At night the rec is obviously a spot for underage drinking (come
see the aftermath on a Saturday or Sunday morning after the night
I am personally very keen to see that young people have plenty
of recreational facilities on which to amuse themselves but I
am afraid that without any enforced control or discipline/' rules
of the game' this facility will be abused and end up like the
athletics ground became - a
Equally, I will personally not tolerate abusive behaviour either
to property or other people and have every intention to manage
this according to my own principles and actions whenever I visit
I was all in favour of the plans some 2 years ago, but whoever
is now responsible should come forward and explain their accountabilities
for the safety and general well being of this expensive facility.
THERE IS SOMEONE RESPONSIBLE, WHO IS IT? THEY MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE
OR LEAVE THEIR POST TO SOMEONE WHO CAN GET RESULTS.
Please do let me know the next steps so that I can actively participate
in finding a solution where everyone wins!
The new Vansittart Park development has
been a major catastrophe by the council.
I moved into nearby Green Lane 18 months ago and regularly used
the underpass to gain access to the town centre - not anymore!
After the plans for a park was approved, I looked forward to
the summer days where I could take my young family for leisurely
walks within the play area. Instead, we are now living in fear
of attacks, injury and foul abusive language
My recent visit to the park with my six-year-old
daughter ended with an attack on her by the yobs from the skate
park - hurling stones and rubble left from the recent development.
My son who is thirteen refuses to use the park for fear of being
attacked and being influenced by the drugs and alcohol usage
Many of my elderly neighbours used the route to get to the local
surgery, but they are faced with broken glass and other debris.
The new plantation does not stand a chance and many new shrubs
and trees have already been uprooted.
The nearby Cubs/Scout hall windows have been attacked and vandalised.
Currently no activities can take place until repairs are carried
A fence panel has been broken down by the thugs and yobs using
the Skate Park to gain a short cut into Green Lane. It is close
to a electricity sub-station and it will not be long before a
major fatality occurs.
During most weekends there is the constant noise of loutish behaviour
on the Roller blades/skates/skate boards until the early hours
of the morning. Our front gardens are being littered with beer
cans/bottles and cigarettes.
What used to be a pleasant place for young
and elderly people alike is now a NO-GO area. Where ever did
they get approval for the Skate Park? What consideration was
given? This is an ill-advised project and not in keeping with
THERE IS A REAL NEED FOR SOME ACTION NOW!
Some of the Problems Illustrated
Cubs Hut vandalised
On the night of 13th/14th
June a deliberate attack was made on the Cub Scouts Hut in Green
Lane, approximately 50 yards from the Skate Park and directly
across the dual carriageway, Goslar Way.
At around midnight a resident
noticed a group of teenagers 'larking about' on the Vansittart
Road Rec, a little way down from the Skate Park. He believes
that this group was responsible for the subsequent vandalism
to both the boundary fence and the reinforced glass doors and
windows. The cost to the Cub Groups that use the building is
in excess of £500 as the windows must be replaced before
the cubs can safely use the building again.
Scout Hut - doors
damaged 14th June 2001
Scout Hut - window
damaged 14th June 2001
Gates and Fences
Fences have been broken
down adjacent to the Scout Hut in Green Lane and along Goslar
Way where teenagers take a 'short cut' across the dual carriageway
to the Skate Park. The damage to the Scout Hut fencing has been
repaired a number of times by volunteer help, but this is the
most serious and will cost the scout group a substantial. sum
to rectify. This is in addition to the cost involved in repairing
the windows illustrated above.
Scout Hut land broken down
alongside Goslar Way, to the south of the Skate Park, across
The same area of
damaged fencing from Green Lane side
The fence between the Skate
Park and the Youth Centre has also been badly damaged.
to Youth Centre. The Skate Park is beyond
Gates, spring loaded to
ensure that dogs do not enter the Skate Park and foul the area,
are wedged open for the 'convenience' of the users of the facility.
This defeats the object and the declared aim to provide "access into the central area through self closing
gates, but dogs will not be allowed in."
Excrement was found underneath one of the
ramps in the Skate area on Friday morning, 15th June 2001, and
was photographed! We are uncertain of its origin... The 'matter'
was reported to RBWM Leisure Services and was removed by Friday
It is our view that the
fencing as illustrated above will shortly be significantly damaged
as it is not of high quality, is already splitting and is only
secured with nails.
Motorcycles and cycles
ridden on the equipment
On 6th June at 5pm, eight
motorcycles were seen on the ramps as other youngsters used their
skateboards at the same time. The matter was reported hurriedly
to the police at the nearby Police Station. Result unknown.
As the Thamesweb reporter
was taking the photographs in this article, several lads were
seen using their bikes on the equipment - in the rain - contrary
to the guidelines originally posted loosely on the fence, but
now ripped off and lying on the tarmac.
Children frightened off play equipment
We have received a number of reports that
school children walking home past the Skate Park have had to
endure shouted abuse, as have mothers and grandmothers trying
to play with their very young children on the nearby swings,
slides and roundabouts. Certain reports are too unpleasant to
include here, but we are holding details.
One report we have received tells of a
grandmother and her three excited grandchildren, all under ten
years old, looking forward to several hours fun at the new facility.
On their arrival they were faced with a group of teenagers on
the picnic tables set up by the toddlers play area, "rough
hooligans" as the grandmother described them. They were
not prepared to move, and were abusive, and so the grandmother
and children immediately went home as they were too frightened,
children and grandmother alike. This lady also describes the
noise and commotion at night as "horrific", often lasting
into the small hours and waking up nearby residents. Many complainants
have stressed that it is not solely the noise from the Skate
Park, it is the rowdy behaviour,not to mention the damage caused
by those going to and from the facility.
There have also been disturbing reports
of racist remarks and stone throwing at some families using the
A number of parents will not allow their
children to go to Vansittart Recreation Ground - and some children
have told their parents that they don't WANT to go there!
Smoking and drinking
The original plastic-covered,
paper sign, tied to the fence(!) near the entrance gate, now
is a no smoking area. In the interests of safety, please do not
bring dogs, glass, alcohol or litter into the area.
We have endless photographs
of litter strewn throughout the area and the substantial danger
of glass bottles smashed in the Skate Park and onto the underpass
beneath, endangering children, other pedestrians and the cyclists
that use the underpass. These are often beer and cider bottles,
but on the 15th June an empty half bottle of vodka was also discovered.
Innumerable cigarette ends are to be found throughout the area.
The regulations for the area state 'no smoking or drinking'.
Fosters Lager appears to be the market leader. Is that the 'XXXX'
Stones and rocks
Large lump of smashed
Iron bar left on
Large stones, perhaps
cobble stones, on site
Stones and earth
thrown onto the young children's play area
On the morning of Friday
15th June, we inspected the entire playground and skate park
area and photographed extensively. The whole site had suffered
from stones, and clods of soil being thrown and kicked around.
This in itself is not a danger, merely an irritation, but we
do believe that a major effort must be made to clear the site
of absolutely anything that a vandal can carry a few hundred
yards down the road with which to cause severe damage to private
in underpass and nearby foot paths
We have not published photographs
of graffiti up to this point as we did not wish to give the perpetrators
the satisfaction of seeing their 'work' on The Royal Windsor
Web Site. However, with the Borough's failure to date to remove
the scrawl, we believe that we should now publish the pictures
of the mess. This is not the worst of the graffiti in the underpass.
Note the several examples of half-removed graffiti in the lower
part of the picture. This is apparently the best that could be
done when an attempt was made last year. We have photographic
records of all incidences of graffiti over the last two years
and the dates on which the damage was caused.
Trees uprooted and
snapped off (several occasions)
It really was a racing
certainty that the newly planted trees, only partially supported,
should be broken off and so it has proved. We are totally mystified
why local councils persist in spending vast quantities of our
money on small trees that are certain to be broken down in days.
The earlier incident of uprooted trees is featured here.
Fires at Skate Park
Fire on pathway to Skate Park
The photograph above was taken on the path
running from Alma Road to Vansittart Recreation Ground and the
Skate Park. The fire was quite intense for a period as the branches
of the tree above have been burnt.
Some would maintain that there is no link
between this incident and the existence of the Skate Park. However,
as we have photographic evidence of fires having been lit beneath
the Skate Park ramps themselves, the chances of them being unconnected
In addition, we have received reports that
fireworks were seen being thrown by boys on the Skate Park area
Summary of the foregoing
The reactions from local residents have
been unanimous. The Skate Park as it stands at the moment is
a total disaster area which has already caused local residents
considerable inconvenience, expense, and in some circumstances,
actual fear, either through verbal abuse, intimidating behaviour
or stone throwing.
It is essential that this situation is
addressed and effective action taken right away. It is only a
question of time before someone is badly hurt. One of the complaints
will be that there was no supervision and that no means of calling
for help were available in the vicinity. The location will be
investigated and the reasons for siting it in such an inappropriate
area will be questioned at length.
The Royal Windsor Web Site will continue
to monitor the area, maintain photographic records and bring
as much pressure to bear as possible. We urge other residents
who are in a position to complain to do likewise. This Skate
Park cannot be allowed to continue in its present form.
It is important to note carefully any occurrences
of vandalism, loutish behaviour, graffiti and other disturbances
as they happen and to let the police know if the severity warrants
such action. Please retain these notes carefully and send a copy
to us as well at the address below. If the situation deteriorates,
as well it might, your report will be very useful. You may also
email The Editor, Thamesweb.
We may publish anonymously comments received but reserve the
right to edit letters and emails as we think appropriate.
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