Eastbourne facilities ‘unsafe’ says skate centre campaigner

Skatepark on Eastbourne Seafront (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151009-085448008
Skatepark on Eastbourne Seafront (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151009-085448008
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The mother of a professional scooter rider has said a Eastbourne outdoor skatepark is “unsafe” due to potholes on the ramps.

Sian Hutchinson, who is the mother of 14-year-old British scooter champion Dante Hutchinson, is campaigning for an indoor skate centre for the town.

Skatepark on Eastbourne Seafront (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151009-085507008

Skatepark on Eastbourne Seafront (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151009-085507008

She criticised the public facilities in an open letter to Eastbourne Borough Council this week.

She said, “I have contacted you on a number of occasions now regarding your skatepark on Eastbourne seafront. It is a disgrace.

“Our British champion is up there training today for a huge competition in Australia next week and he and 40 other kids are riding a park that is quite honestly a health and safety issue.

“I have now phoned on four occasions with no reply and still today I have taken photos of holes in the ramps and wooden ramps hanging off.

“The park is dangerous and considering the only other parks they can train in (Gildredge Park and Hampden Park) are usually full of kids smoking drugs the one place they can train is an absolute danger area,

“This is an extreme sport yet you fail to provide safe facilities for them to practice on. You provide these facilities yet fail to maintain them and I am furious this is allowed.”

A spokesman for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “The skate park is a popular facility and we make efforts to ensure it is kept in good condition. However skateboarding is a high impact activity so regular inspections and repairs are necessary.

“The council has spent approximately £10,000 on this facility since April 2015 in both repairs and replacement skatelite sheets.

“Further damage to the riding surfaces recently appeared and these are programmed for replacement and repair this week.”

Mrs Hutchinson is leading a campaign calling for a new indoor skatepark to replace the Westskates centre, which closed down last December.

She said, “Surely it would have made more sense to build one indoor park, creating jobs, bringing in tourism, keeping our kids safe, keeping the park maintained and safe and used all year round? But no we just build outside parks and leave it to our kids to ride on unsafe, unmanaged equipment.”

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