Published: 27 July 2018
With great regret Billericay Town Council announces the closing of the wooden ramp in the Lake Meadows skate park. The second ramp (the Rhino ramp) will remain open.
Whilst it is popular with young people the wooden ramp has suffered from vandalism in recent years and expert advice suggests it is no longer worth spending money repairing. The wooden ramp has required increasing repairs as it has got older. The combined cost of maintenance plus the damage from vandalism over the last 3 years amounted to £18,000. This includes £800 spent last month to repair damage caused by vandals in time for the summer holidays. Unfortunately no sooner than this was repaired vandals struck again and this latest damage would have seen the bill rise to £20,000. Sadly after a lengthy debate we saw no affordable alternative other than closure.
The wooden ramp has been closed, fenced off and warning signs posted and we are obtaining quotes for its removal. Please do not allow your children to use the wooden ramp in the meantime.
We appreciate that this ramp is well-loved and whilst replacements are expensive future consideration will be given to providing a facility resistant to the destructive damage of vandalism, which will require investigating funding opportunities and other skate park schemes.
Jim Devlin, Chairman of Billericay Town Council said :"It was a difficult decision and we regret the loss of this well used ramp, however, the ongoing costs of repairs have become unsustainable.”
Moira Moore, Chairman of the Town Council’s Environment Committee which has responsibility for the skatepark said “We know that the young people who use the ramp are not responsible for the vandalism and it is such a shame to see the ramp close. However, we hope that a replacement can be built at some point”.