Backing for plans to resurrect Eastbourne skate park

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HOT on the heels of controversial plans to build a skate park in Manor Gardens, councillors have agreed to push on with a similar scheme in Cross Levels Way.

Just last week the Herald reported that despite local opposition, Eastbourne Borough Council had given the go-ahead for new ramps to replace the existing tennis court in Manor Gardens.

And on Wednesday the local authority rubber-stamped proposals to resurrect a now defunct skate park in Cross Levels Way, which was closed around two years ago after falling into disrepair.

However, unlike the Manor Gardens decision, these plans appeared to be almost entirely well-received.

Mark Ireland, who lives near the proposed site, said, “My son would not forgive me if I did not stand up today and fight for the children’s right to have the much-needed skate park back.”

Mr Ireland said that the overwhelming majority of local residents fully supported the plans.

And a second public speaker, Kate Glover, was quick to back up Mr Ireland’s claims.

She said, “I have worked with young people for much of my working life and I cannot stress to you the extreme disappointment they were hit with when the council removed such a popular facility.”

Councillors from both sides of the political divide spoke in support of the skate park, with some revealing that early work to spruce up the site was already underway.

However, although the issue appeared clear-cut, the LibDems and Conservatives spent a large chunk of Wednesday’s two-and-a-half hour meeting arguing about the wording of the skate park motion as the town hall session descended into political farce.

Unhappy LibDems refused to back a Tory motion, instead urging their rivals to vote for their motion – which had been politically-loaded to indicate widespread support for the previous Manor Gardens scheme, which many Conservatives had rallied against.

Tory leader Cllr David Elkin summed up the growing disillusionment of the public gallery when he said, “I guess this is where we stop being grown-ups.

“I do not know what the public must think of this – it is just political propaganda at its worst.”