the week ending 30th June will be included here
Monday 25th June 2001
An incident was witnessed on Friday night
where 5-6 teenagers were seen leaving the Skate Park area, one
of whom hurled a stone at a street light, breaking the glass.
They then ran off. The member of the public had a mobile phone
and rang the local Police Station. Unfortunately a delay ensued
before the police could be contacted by which time identifying
the responsible individual was no longer possible. Whilst the
vandalism was in itself minor, the incident does highlight the
frustration of the general public when vandals are actually observed
damaging property, and are then seen running off in the direction
of the Police Station, yet the opportunity to 'head them off
at the pass' and arrest a vandal was lost. The police merely
had to step out of their back yard to. at the very least, question
Closure at dusk
Following the placing of signs around the
Skate Park on Thursday 21st, advising that the Park would be
closed at sunset, it does seem that on Friday night and over
the weekend this did in fact happen. However, groups of youngsters
were still sitting around the skate equipment well into the late
evening. This in itself will not worry residents unduly. The
car parking area had a bollard in place after sunset on Sunday
By Friday evening one of the paper and
plastic signs had been ripped down and torn in half.
Of more concern is that at 9.30 on Friday
evening a group of teenagers let off a number of fireworks (bangers
or firecrackers) in the Skate Park.
Borough gives park a clean
We believe that in the last week a concerted
effort has been made by the Borough to clean up the area, with
litter and stones removed from the adjacent subway, and the larger
stones that had been left around the site, cleared away. These
were illustrated in our update of
We are advised that there are some further
developments in the pipeline in readiness for the official opening
on 13th July. At present we are awaiting more details of these.
Support for the Skate Park
We have received an email supporting the
Skate Park facility and stating that the graffiti in the area
is not necessarily the fault of skaters, the true skaters being
anxious to look after the equipment provided. This letter will
be published as soon as the writer's permission has been received.
A nearby resident has also expressed the view that the facility
is valuable and demonstrates a welcome desire by the Borough
to provide facilities for the younger residents.
We have a great deal of sympathy for these
views. It is indisputable that facilities of all kinds must be
provided for every age group throughout the Borough. Residents'
are primarily concerned about the current lack of supervision,
that individuals will be required to foot the bill for vandalism
to their property, (examples of which have already occurred)
plus a general frustration with the unpleasant behaviour of a
certain element who congregate at the Park. There is also good
reason to believe that the facility is located in an unsuitable
area of the town.
Windsor Observer Editorial
The residents' concerns have been supported
in the editorial of the
Windsor Observer (Friday 22nd June, Page
2) where the point is made that the provision of the facility
is not the end of the story and that the skate park needs patrolling.
Wednesday 27th June 2001
Oh no! Not chains!
In our earlier reports
we have expressed concern about the proposed use of chains to
'close off' the skate park ramps after the facility closes at
dusk. The prospect of chains being clanged against the steel
plates late into the night is not the local residents' idea of
'wind chimes'. See Rickmansworth below.
The chains were first noticed
today but late this evening they were not actually secured across
the ramps, merely wrapped around the ramp structure to one side.
Petty, and not so petty,
The Car Park entrance
with one removable bollard
to close off the parking area at dusk
The removable bollard,
a very heavy cast iron post, intended to close off the entrance
to the car parking area at closing time, has been removed. It
is to be found in the road leading to the surgery some 100 yards
away. As this item was not secured whether in use or not, so
it was only a matter of time before it would be removed.
We are not quite clear
about the actual purpose of this bollard. Whilst it will prevent
entry to the car park, the approach road to the Skate Park is
a good 100 yards long and has no parking restrictions. The only
effect of the bollard when in position is to make the turning
of vehicles at the end of the 'cul de sac', quite difficult.
A group of youths were
seen late on Monday night endlessly throwing handfuls of stones
onto the ramps, apparently pleased by the noise they made as
they rattled to the bottom. The stones of course had to be swept
away before the facility could be safely used the next day.
The fencing around the
Scout Hut land across the road from the Skate Park has been further
The gate to the Skate Park,
designed to be self closing in an attempt to keep dogs out of
the area, has been almost always wedged open for the convenience
of bikers riding in and out. Now the latch mechanism has been
secured in the open position by a staple, obviously pulled from
the adjacent fencing. The lever designed to operate this latch
from the top of the gate has also been tampered with.
The use of the facility
by bikes has never been clear (in the absence of signs) although
other authorities have banned bikes because they damage the skate
The last of the signs advising
that the park closes at sunset have been ripped off. There are
no signs at the Skate Park advising the rules and other safety
details, such as nearest telephone, toilets, first aid, etc.,
ROSPA recommended such signing, and if we are charitable we expect
that the signs will be installed in time for the official opening,
but they are not there yet, and of course an endless supply will
be needed to replace them as they are vandalised. Which reminds
us... where are the nearest public toilets? Surely not the Portaloo
Will someone please
remove this Portaloo?
It has been pushed over so many times!
[Removed by 5th July]
A similar facility in Rickmansworth has
experienced all the problems that have been the cause of residents
complaints here at Vansittart. They have some constructive comments
that we will feature here as soon as they are to hand, In the
meantime we are advised that the idea of chains across the metal
ramps is so obviously a non-starter from a noise point of view
that the method to prevent after hours use, was rejected. We
understand that the facility is fenced securely, is fully supervised,
and that a small fee is payable for the use of the skate park
for the duration of each session. Full details about how the
Rickmansworth facility has been set up will be included as soon
as they are to hand.