Call for investment in borough’s skateparks

Edmonton skatepark said to be ‘dangerous’, reports James Cracknell

Skateboarders on a ramp at the council's A10 Wheeled Sports Facility in Edmonton
Skateboarders on a ramp at the council’s A10 Wheeled Sports Facility in Edmonton

Skateboarders in Enfield are calling on the council to invest in the borough’s skateparks – and help create the next generation of Olympic medallists.

Skateboarding was contested at the Olympic Games for the first time this summer, with Team GB picking up a bronze in Tokyo thanks to teenage sensation Sky Brown.

Enfield borough currently has three free-to-use skateparks, but the largest and most well used is the A10 Wheeled Sports Facility, also known as Edmonton Skatepark, which regular skaters say has been neglected and even become “dangerous” because of the condition of its surfaces.

Jamie Rippington has been skating there since he was eight-years-old and told the Dispatch the problems started when the skatepark was used as an access point for Enfield Council’s ongoing expansion works at the neighbouring Edmonton Cemetery.

Jamie Rippington at Edmonton Skatepark, where loose gravel and stones are creating a health and safety hazard
Jamie Rippington at the Edmonton skatepark, where loose gravel and stones are creating a health and safety hazard

According to Jamie, ongoing problems at the A10 skatepark include loose gravel and stones, which can get stuck under people’s wheels when they are skating, as well as broken floodlights and fencing. He said: “They [the council] left it as a construction site. Someone came to the site but they didn’t remedy any of the issues.

“To a degree it is dangerous if you are skating and there is gravel on the surface, it is a health and safety hazard. What was a good facility before is now not very good. I just want it to be a good place to be again.

“It just needs a bit of love and care. There has been a big uptake in skateboarding since the Olympics and there is funding available for it now.”

The council has two other skateparks, at Albany Park and Bush Hill Park, but Jamie says the Edmonton venue is still the best available in the borough. “This facility has been there for 20 years and I have grown up with it,” he said.

“Back in the day it was really good but it very run down now and I just think it needs some attention. If there is money to extend it then great but really we just want it brought back to how it used to be.”

Bush Hill Park councillor James Hockney has also been calling for the council to take action and said: “It is astounding that after six months of pressing the council to bring the skatepark to a safe and decent standard for our youngsters, we are still waiting.”

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that grounds maintenance, sweeping and graffiti removal works at the skatepark have all taken place and will continue to take place, in line with the parks team’s maintenance schedule.

“The skate ramps themselves have had investment over the last year and are in very good condition, while the concrete surfaces forming part of the ramp area are also well kept. Work will be completed in the near future on new fencing adjacent to the cemetery. Once the neighbouring A10 cemetery works are complete, we will be looking into any remedial works identified for the asphalt areas.

“Enfield Council is proud to have high levels of participation in all kinds of sport across the borough, including skateboarding, and we take the maintenance of all our parks and outdoor facilities very seriously to help people enjoy the activities they love in safe and welcoming environments.”