Back it or lose it, community warned over youth project

PEGSWOOD residents of all ages are being warned that a fun facility for young people will not go ahead unless they show their support.

A questionnaire has been sent out by the parish council asking those who live in the village for their views on a potential new skate park on the Welfare Field site, which can also be used by BMX bikes and scooters.

A trial set up took place in August on the former bowling green and it proved very popular as the temporary facility was regularly used each day it was in place.

Council clerk Kevin Cassie explained that the project will not go ahead without external funding and the authority would need to demonstrate that the majority of residents want to see it develop.

He added: “In the current economic climate, no funder will give us money for this scheme if we don’t get enough community input.

“An example of this was when we had to shelve plans for a community bus becuase of the poor response to the survey.

“Consultation has taken place with young people and at various events and there appears to be a lot of interest in having a skate park in Pegswood, so hopefully both users and their parents or grandparents will respond to the questionnaire. It would also be useful if other adults give their support if they are in favour of it.

“Councillors can also play their part by championing the project.”

The proposed location for the skate park, which will be opposite the Cemetery Lodge, has been chosen as it is felt that it is far enough away from residential properties not to cause any noise nuisance, but is clearly visible from the road side.

It will not reduce the number of football pitches as as both facilities can be accommodated.

Coun David Woodard said it was vital for residents to back the scheme, but the authority should stick with it as far as possible.

“We know how successful the trial was in the summer and so in this case we do need to take some risk and show some community leadership,” he said.

In the questionnaire, people can comment about the location and construction materials as well as put in order of importance what equipment they would like to see in the park.

It needs to be returned to the parish council office at Uniun Depot, Front Street, NE61 6RG, by the end of Monday, January 7. If you go along to hand it in and the office is closed, there is a collection box in the cafe area.

An open meeting about the project will be held on Saturday, January 12, between 10.30am and noon.

For more information about how to get involved, including young people living in nearby towns and villages such as Morpeth, Longhirst and Bothal who would use the skate park, telephone the parish office on 01670 514299.