FOLLOWING last week’s Cumbernauld front page report on vandalism problems at Abronhill skate park, local skateboarders have come forward to talk about their efforts to construct a new park in the area.
Abronhill Regeneration Forum have now costed the repairs to the decorative wall at the skatepark to be £3312, and the area is also frequently covered in obscene graffiti. However a community of passionate skateboarders has developed around the park since its opening.
They condemn the vandalism as it undermines their efforts to bring a bigger and better park to the town. One of them, 24-year-old William Warnock. said: “Most of the graffiti is done by people who don’t even use the facilities . Any time we are skating if someone is leaving their mark then they are told off.
“What happened with the wall is particularly annoying – over the past year I and the older skaters have made great progress inspiring the next generation of skaters to respect the skatepark.
“In the initial few years the park was mostly unused and whenever I skated it I would often receive abuse or the occasional stone thrown by the local youths, but in the last year or so things have changed.
“It saddens me that this has happened, as it will set back my progress for pushing forward a new skatepark.”
A few months ago, skaters met with Abronhill Regeneration Forum and were encouraged to set up a new, better skatepark.
North Lanarkshire Council suggested a site but this proved unavailable.
William added: “A lot of people see skateboarding and other sports as a fad but skateboarding has been around for 60 years and over the last year more than a dozen new skateparks have been built in Scotland alone.
“All we want from the council is an area of land and permission to build. The planning, funding, designs etc would be handled by us and our supporters.”
Kevin Bone (27) said of the vandalism: “Kids of all ages use the skate park and the obscene images are ones which I don’t want my son and stepdaughters to see.
“Local youths are destroying any chance of repairs, upgrades or new facilities.”
Dale Carslaw (19) added: ”The mindless trash that gets written all over the ramps in the park is terrible. A lot of the ‘graffiti’ in the Abronhill park is offensive and obscene. In my opinion I think the council or Abronhill Regeneration Forum should pay an artist to paint the ramps instead of painting over the graffiti. Every time they paint over it, it’s like a fresh canvas for people to write on.”
Eighteen-year-old Jamie Baguley said: “Building a park would mean jobs and steady cash flow.
“All you have to do is look at the massive new skatepark recently built over in East Kilbride.”