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Anti-social teenagers see youngsters' skate ramp banned



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The temporary skate ramp was assembled during school holidays on land behind the Riverside Community Centre in Rosemoor Gardens for young children, but older teenagers who used it late at night were reported to West Berkshire Council by angry residents living nearby.
Devastated children at the community centre now have nowhere to ride their scooters, which are banned at similar skate ramps in Newbury and Thatcham.
The ramp takes two people around an hour to assemble, making it impractical to take it down and rebuild each day, and as a result is left unattended overnight.
The ban arose after neighbours of the centre complained that on numerous occasions they had been woken up by older youths on the facility as early as 5:30am.
Linda Booker, parent and junior youth club leader at the centre, said the youngsters had been punished for the actions of older gangs
“You try and tell seven and eight year olds that it’s going away because of older children.”
Leanne Corcoran, another parent and volunteer at the centre, added: “There will always be someone that complains, no matter how good it might be.”
“We want to be good neighbours. We have got no control over what other children do,” said a volunteer at the centre, Chris Lusby Taylor, who added that the children were devastated by the removal.
“It’s frustrating when they can’t do an activity they love,” he said.
Sarah Wise, also a parent, said she favoured this skate ramp as it is designed solely for younger children, adding there have been instances where her son felt intimidated by older children at the ramp on Dunstan Green, Thatcham.
A spokesman for West Berkshire Council, Keith Ulyatt said: “Our environmental health officers responded to calls from local residents about noise late at night, and as a result the temporary ramp was dismantled on Friday.
“Obviously there is a requirement to get the right balance between the provision of facilities for young people and the needs of neighbouring residents.”
The centre has applied to West Berkshire Council for a concrete base to be built on land further from the houses to allow them to continue using the ramp.
Mr Lusby Taylor said: “They have agreed in principle but think we should put new ramps on a new base at a cost of many tens of thousands. We'd be happy with just a slab of concrete to put our old but functional ramp on.”



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