Thursday, 15 February 2007

Skateboarders threaten council!

Potentially a great story ... but not as exciting as it sounds!

Jimmy Woulfe in the Irish Examiner writes - AN ACTION group yesterday threatened to report a local authority to the Ombudsman for Children for not providing an amenity for skateboarders.
The Limerick Skatepark Action Group (LSAG) claimed the city council had already benefited from €125,000 in Government funding for a skateboard park.
The LSAG said it will press ahead with the threat if the council continues to disregard the rights of young Limerick skateboarders.
The LSAG’s Tom Shortt accused elected members of the council of being more concerned about opposition from residents rather than the delivery of a skate park.
He claimed the council got an allocation after Environment Minister Dick Roche announced a €2 million package in 2005 to build skateboard facilities around the country.
He said: “Limerick City Council officials claimed the skate park would be developed quickly, within a city council park by last summer when most use was most likely to be made of facilities due to weather and school holidays.”
He said the council, despite having received money for the project, had yet to put a firm timeframe in place to deliver the project.
He added: “The low rate of progress exposes a lack of political and administrative will within the city council to address the recreational needs of young people, even when funds have been provided by the Government.”
Mr Shortt suggested the situation in Limerick was in contrast to other urban centres who provided parks.
“The failure of Limerick City Council to spend the money, allocated for a skate park, leaves it open to accusations of failing to protect the rights, safety and welfare of young people who are into skateboarding,” he said.
The Department of the Environment has allocated funding to develop 21 skateboard parks nationwide.
When announcing funding for the scheme, Mr Roche said: “Up to now, financial assistance has concentrated on the provision of playgrounds for younger children, with few specialist facilities provided for other groups of young people.”

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