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Update 23rd-30th June 2001

Vansittart Wrecked?

Developments throughout the week ending 30th June will be included here


Monday 25th June 2001

Vandalism witnessed

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 those responsible.

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 evening.

By Friday evening one of the paper and plastic signs had been ripped down and torn in half.

Fireworks again

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 up

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 15th June.

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, vandalism

Car Park Entrance

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.

Cast iron bollard 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 vandalised.

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.

Latch secured open

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 surface.

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 below!

Overturned 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.


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