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Chepping Wycombe Parish Council accused of 'ignoring' skate ramp petitions
A PARISH council which is set to axe the skate ramps from a park in Flackwell Heath has been accused of ignoring the wishes of hundreds of villagers.
Two petitions were handed into Chepping Wycombe Parish Council in the summer, which carried more than 1,000 signatures between them and called for Recreation Ground facilities to be saved.
Mum Natalie Allen said: "There has been a massive backlash against the parish council regarding this and its removal was postponed over the summer holidays, but now it is close to removal.
"This is a disgrace that the parish council have closed their ears to those that have sadly voted for them in the past."
She believes the cost of removing the ramps, thought to be about £7,000, could be spent on improvements instead.
The council sparked controversy in July by announcing plans to remove the skate ramps and find another location for a permanent facility.
This followed the results of noise surveys at the site and complaints about anti-social behaviour.
Council chairman Jeff Herschel said he and his colleagues were all aware of the petitions and ‘wished’ it was possible for the current facility to be saved and improved.
He stressed there had been ‘great disappointment’ among councillors at the "realisation that the existing facility did not meet safety, noise or location guidelines and that it would need to be re-positioned elsewhere".
Since the decision to remove the ramps the council has organised an event to discuss the refurbishment of play facilities in the parish, as well as a workshop for youngsters to put forward suggestions for new BMX and skate facilities.
It also recently agreed the £30,000 purchase of Oak Wood, on the north-west edge of the village on Heath End Road, which could provide the site for a new BMX trail.
Cllr Herschel added: "I don't think that this positive response to the concerns of both council members and residents can reasonably be described as ignoring the views expressed in the petition.
"That none of the sponsors of the two petitions were prepared to attend either of the events and work alongside the council to resolve the issues we face is disappointing, but not a complete surprise."
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