Chairman of Bury St Edmunds skate park calls for u-turn on Government's 'short-sighted' ruling
The chairman of Bury St Edmunds’ skate experience is calling on the Government to u-turn on its decision to prohibit the use of skateparks during lockdown.
Paul Jackson, who runs the skatepark in Olding Road in partnership with West Suffolk Council, said the decision to close skate parks across the country, not just in Bury, was ‘short-sighted’.
“I think that the decision to close skateparks is quite short-sighted without thinking about the negative effects on the mental wellbeing of young people,” he said.
Paul said he only realised skateparks were not allowed to stay open after finding out from the UK governing body for skateboarding’s website, as the restrictions had not been passed down from central government to West Suffolk Council.
He argues skate parks are ‘low risk’ compared to children’s playgrounds, which under current Government guidelines, are fine to stay open.
"If children's playgrounds are to remain open during this lockdown - an environment where harmful contamination of play equipment is a much higher risk than contaminating surfaces in an outdoor skatepark, surely outdoor skateparks could be opened to give users a viable, safe and secure exercise environment during lockdown following Skateboard GB & Skateboard England's comprehensive guidelines to safely using a skatepark during times of coronavirus," he said.
He has organised a petition to lobby Government into making the u-turn and plans on writing to either Matt Hancock or Jo Churchill as well.