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Article on skate park campaign in Wokingham Council's Txt Magazine

Tom wrote an article for the March issue of Txt,  the Wokingham Borough Council young people's magazine.  The article describes the campaign for the Finchampstead skate park so far.

Letter from YOF

We received a letter from YOF today.  Good news...we have been awarded 24000 pounds towards the skate park subject to planning permission etc.  It is a good start but we will still need to get more funding from elsewhere.

Meeting with YOF

We have a meeting today with YOF. Tom Jade and Jaron will be giving a presentation supporting our funding appeal for 80k to build the skatepark.

Phone call from Louise

Louise gave us some information about Wednesday's YOF meeting.  She said YOF were impressed with the amount of work that had been done towards getting a skate park.  We will definitely be getting some money from them but we do not know how much yet.  We have to look at other sources of funding in case they cannot give us the whole 80K.  We will be giving them our presentation on 16th December.

Meeting with YOF

Today we should have had a meeting with YOF to  discuss funding for the skate park but they have decided to have the meeting without us so that they can decide which questions they would like answered in our presentation.  A new date for our meeting / presentation is going to be set for some time in January.

Meeting at NMR School

The council held a meeting today to tell local people about the plans for new play facilities(including the skatepark)This meeting was a chance for people to give their views.  Unfortunately a lot of people who opposed the skatepark were there and not enough of our supporters.  I know the meeting was on a Saturday lunchtime and lots of you had other things to do ut if we want to get our skatepark we must show the council.  We don't want a few people who know nothing about skatepark sports to make the decision about whether the skate park gets built.  The council may be planning another much shorter meeting which you will be able to just pop into and perhaps fill out a questionaire with three or four questions.  When we know the details of the meeting we will post them on the web site.  The skate park will be for all skateboarders, BMXers, inline skaters and scooter riders, so if you want the skate park to be built please show your support!

Design Team Meeting

The parks department and youth workers are meeting with the Parish Council on Friday but we had a short meeting with the design team today.  Great News!!!  We have a site for the skate park at Gorse Ride and we are going to be getting a free-form concrete skate park which they hope to have installed by April 2010.  As soon as we know more we will let you know on this blog.

Latest on skate park

Email today from Louise.  Finchampstead Area Manager is currently evaluating possible sites for our skate park.  As soon as a site is found we will let you know.

Southern Parishes Area Youth Committee Meeting

Bethany Greegan Jade Savage Neneh Jagoe Ollie Blake- Brennan and I presented our business plan for the skatepark.Louise is going to visit a possible site with a member of the parks department and a working group is being  formed to ensure everything is done in the most efficent way to make the skatepark a reality.Even though we had some technical problems at the meeting we were able to show some excellent designs from Gravity Whealscape and Freestyle,which has showed what we are aiming for ,how much space we need and roughly the kind of funding we need to raise.

Reply from Baptist church

The reverand from the Baptist church contacted us and explained that there was no available space on the Gorse Ride redevelopment site.  The only land not being used by them is two football pitches on land belonging to the council.

Meeting with Gravity

Louise, Tom, Lewis and Sandie met with Marc and a colleague from Gravity Skate Parks.  They were really helpful and encouraging and showed us some fantastic skate park designs.  They have promised to get in touch with us again to advise on funding.  If chosen to work on our skate park they said that they will be able to deal with all aspects of the design and build process.

Funds from the Parish Council

Good news!  The Parish Council have ear-marked £500 towards the cost of Finchampstead skate park.

Email to Baptist church

Today we contacted the Baptist church regarding any space that may be available for a skate park after the redevelopment at Gorse Ride.

Wokingham Winter Carnival

We had a stall at the Wokingham Winter Carnival.  We had our petition there and collected about 120 more signatures.  Our friends Ben Copley and Tom Briggs set up and helped run the stall.  Ben brought some execllent pictures of skate parks that he has visited around the world.  He was very good at speaking to visitors to our stall about skateboarding.  Tom brought his BendaVenda bicycle-powered smoohie maker and gave free smoothies to our supporters.  Even though we did not gain many new signtures we feel that we have made a  lot more people aware of our campaign.

Press coverage

Following an interview with Tom an article appeared in today's Wokingham Times describing our skatepark campaign.  The article mentioned the handing over of our petition with more than 500 signatures to councillors at a meeting last Friday and included our web site address.

Community Development Worker

Tom contacted Claire Denham (Finchampstead Community Development Worker) and asked if it was possible for our campaign user group to meet at the village community house.  At present all the evenings are spoken for but she will be contacting us in the future to see if something can be arranged when the planning permission for change of use has gone through.

New supporters

Today we made contact with the Finchampstead Community Wardens who have agreed to support our campaign and will attend meetings.

Petition presented to Borough Council Meeting

Rob Stanton and Mike Gore presented our skatepark petition at today's Wokingham council meeting.

Neighbourhood meeting

Villages Youth Worker Louise Morris did a presentation at the Finchampstead neighbourhood meeting in which she mentioned our skate park campaign.

Meeting with Councillors

Lewis  and I (Tom) had a meeting with Finchampstead Councillors   Rob Stanton and Mike Gore.We are very pleased that they are supporting our campaign.They will be presenting our skatepark pettion at the next Wokingham council meeting on 30th October.Hopefully we should soon have an idea what the council plan to do about getting a skatepark for the young people of Finchampstead.

Meeting with councillor and youth worker

On Friday 10th October Tom has a meeting with Louise Morris (Villages Youth Worker) and Rob Stanton (Finchampstead Councillor).

Visit to a landscaped concrete bowl skate park

Today we visited a landscaped concrete bowl skate park in Harlow, Essex.  See our comments in the Ideal Skate Park page.

Email from Rob Stanton (Councillor)

We received an email from Councillor Ron Stanton who offered to engage with the relevant officers at the council and beyond to see what is possible with regard to our campaign for a skate park in Finchampstead.  He is also going to talk to our local youth worker.

Email from Mike Gore (Councillor)

Email received from Councillor Mike Gore.  He informed us that he has also suggested to the California re-development forum that one of the new development plans could be for a skate park in California, and that he has passed our request for a skate park on to the head of the development team.  (Hopefully the head of the development team is already aware of our campaign as we indicated that we would like a skate park to be built at California in the California Options survey).

Letters to borough councillors

Today we wrote letters to some borough councillors asking them to support our skate park campaign, and we also contacted our Youth MP asking for his support.

Meeting with Tom from YOP panel.

Tom attended a meeting on 31 July 2008 at Woodley Youth Centre.  Present at the meeting were Louise Morris (Villages Youth Worker),Tom (who has successfully raised funds for the Wicked Wheels skate park in Sonning), Kerry (from the Youth Liason panel) and Paul Blount (a support worker for Year 10 panel).

We are concerned that we have heard nothing from the Parish council as regards finding a site for a Finchampstead skate park and wonder if funding is a concern.  We have been assured that there is a Youth Capital Fund that is under-subscribed and is a likely source of funds for a project such as ours. 

Planned meeting with a successful skate park campaigner

Following today's email from Louise (Villages Youth Worker) there is a meeting planned in July with a successful young skate park campaigner.

California Country Park re-development

There are plans to re-develop the facilities at Calkifornia Country Park in Finchampstead.  Three possible options have been identified and there is a web site (www.wokingham.gov.uk/californiaoptions) where people can vote for their preference.  We voted and in the comments box we included the following:

We are a group of young people who have been campaigning for a skate park in Finchampstead for the last year and a half.  We have sent a petition to the council.  We would like a local skate park to be built because lots of young people in Finchampstead like skateboarding and riding BMX bikes and in line skating, but there is nowhere for them to go unless they have transport.  They have to use the roads and the paths, which is dangerous for themselves and other people.  Skateboarding gives young people something to do and helps to keep them fit and stop them putting on weight.  We would ideally like a concrete bowl skate park to be built because it would be unique in the area and skateboarding experts have told us that it is the best skateboarding surface.  Although it is more expensive than some other kinds of skate park, it is hard-wearing, vandal-proof, low noise and low maintenance, and the shape could be designed to suit people of all ages and abilities.  It would be good for in line skaters and BMX riders as well as skate boarders.

We think that California Country Park would be a great place to put a skate park because the park would already have a cafe and toilets as well as things for the rest of the family to do.  A really good skate park could be a flagship project for California Country Park and would attract people from miles away to California Country Park.  You could even have a small pro skate shop on site, perhaps in the cafe.  This would encourage other people to take the sport up and would provide another reason for people to visit California Country Park.  Villages youth worker Louise Morris is helping us with our campaign.  We have been in contact with the Parish Council who recognise that there is a need for a skate park in the area and will be discussing it at a meeting soon.  We have a website to help us publicise our campaign.  It is www.finchampsteadsk8.co.uk.

We hope that you will decide to include a skate park in the plans for redeveloping California Country Park.

Finchampstead Skate

Offer of support

We were contacted by the person who petitioned for the original skate park at St Crispins in Wokingham and he has offered us his support for our campaign.  Many thanks!

New skate park review

Tom visited a skate park at Great Hollands in Bracknell.  Photo and review to come soon.

New supporters

Tom went to Sanhurst skate park and handed out some fliers advertising the Finchampstead Skate web site.  He met Tom and Dan Hollis who were part of the group who have successfully campaigned and raised funds for an extension to the Sandhurst skate park.  They said they would support our campaign.

Letter from Parish Council

Jane Holloway (Parish Coucil Clerk) wrote to me today.  She said that the Amenities Committee realises that we need a akate park and have set aside 5000 pounds that could be spent towards it.  The Amenities Committee will talk about this as their July meeting. 

Meeting with Louise

Only I (Tom) and Jade could attend.  Unfortunately Louise's meeting with Kerry from Youth Opportunities fund did not happen yesterday.  However Mr Shaw received my letter today and he will speak to the Parish Council then contact us regarding our next move.  Louise will be seeing Kerry soon and she will contact us about me meeting with another person who has managed to get a skate park in their area.

Letter sent to Parish Council and District Council

Tom wrote a letter to the chairman of the Parish Council asking if the council could try to find a site for the skate park.  He also told the council about the finchampsteadsk8.co.uk web site.

Tom wrote a letter to the Mr Shaw (Head of Youth Service) at Wokingham District Council asking for suggestions about what we should do next.  He also told the Mr Shaw about the finchampsteadsk8.co.uk web site.

Posters

Some of our campaign posters were taken to local schools today.

Tom talks to his class

Tom introduced the Finchampstead Skate site to his class mates in an ICT lesson.  His teacher was impressed.  Tom is hoping to speak during school assembly shortly.

Email from Louise re meeting with Kerry from the Youth Opportunities Fund

Louise sent an email saying that she would be meeting Kerry from the Youth Opportunities Fund on 8th May to find out what else FinchampsteadSk8 need to do before we can be considered for funding.  She will be telling us about the meeting when we have our next meeting with her on 9th May.

Phoned Louise

We phoned Lousie today and told her about the web site.  We said it was not finshed yet but she said she would check it out.

Trying to find out the date of the meeting at California Countrty Park

My secretary (mum) spoke to Louise (our Village Youth Worker) on the phone today.  Louise told her that she would be in touch with people at California Country Park to find out the date of the meeting where we will be doing our skate park presentation.  We are hoping that California will be a suitable site for our skate park.

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