Just up the road from the Lido in Margate was a small skatepark which local youth had set up on some derelict Council owned land. They had put considerable effort into developing the park and a lot of their own money as well. The park was well used and a great success, attracting youngsters from around the local area.
My understanding is that Thanet Council had said to the young people it was OK to use the land. As far as I am aware there were no plans for the land and there were no complaints from people living near to the park. I have been told that the youngsters planned to establish a proper management committee to run the park and begin to fundraise and develop the park.
But this morning at about 8am a digger arrived and proceeded to destroy all the months of hard work put into this facility. There was no warning this was going to happen. Apparently there was a problem with the Council's insurance.
What I want to know is why the Council didn't speak to the youngsters before they trashed the Park? Surely there must have been way round this issue? Perhaps the park could have been closed temporarily until the insurance issues were sorted out, rather than smashing place up. The fact the Council failed to consult the young people who worked so hard to set up this community facility is a scandal. they are owed an explanation and they are also an apology.
I believe that the least the Council can do is reinstate the skate park at the same location and to the necessary insurance standards as quickly as possible. Would the Council have taken the same action had this been a group of adults who were using derelict land for leisure and recreation. I suspect not.
I will be sending e-mails to the appropriate people tomorrow and insisting that the Council meet with the youngsters and begin to put right the damage they have caused and the restore the trust they have lost