St Osyth Parish Council arranged with Mistley Parish Council to visit their recreation ground and play area, where they have a modest Skate Park facility for the use of their younger residents. This visit took place on the evening of 13th August 2009. The purpose of the visit was to help members of the Council decide design and size features as against the information to hand from the Clerks conversations with manufacturers and the brochures they provide, where understandably each manufacture extolled their particular product, whilst pointing out the faults in their competitors products. At the last full Council meeting on July 16th the meeting was divided between those who felt a facility of some sort should be provided and those who felt the demand for a Skate Park feature was minimal and the money would be better spent on some other youth facility.
In anticipation of the Councils intention to provide something for our youth the Clerk had made a successful application to the County Council for funding assistance, referring to a possible skate park and had received the promise of £16,000, subject to the usual conditions such as work to be completed within a timescale, proper estimate procedure and provision of proper accounts. This was very good work by the Clerk on our behalf, but some of the equipment we had been looking at would cost £26,000 and members felt this might not be ‘good value for money’, if we had to spend £10,000 ourselves from reserves.
Sonia Grantham our Chairman ruled that consideration of the item be deferred and that members actually look at other sites in situ. She asked the Clerk to arrange a visit to the Mistley Park.
We were met on site by Ian Rose, Chairman of Mistley Parish Council who explained to our group how the facility came about, how much it cost, how it was funded, what grants they received and also the financial contribution from their local Councillors Michael Dew and Cllr. G. Guglielmi.
Even though the Council have seen the provision in Mistley, we still come back to the basic problem which I will put this way. We can spend the money, including a major contribution from our reserves and provide a superior skate park. We can trim our ambitions and purchase a small feature as close to the grant money promised to us or we can forget the idea of a skate park altogether and seek to use the grant money on some other feature for our youth.