Jed skate park supporters put their case

Yet again we are amused by ex-community councillor Tom Dobson’s vision of the now-established, two-year-old Jedburgh skate park project (letters, August 30).

The meeting referred to in Mr Dobson’s letter and held at Kenmore Hall on August 20 was very well attended by a vast array of people, from the young and old, professional organisations, community representatives and concerned parents. The event was indeed very well publicised on many social web pages, at all of the schools, Radio Borders, Radio TD1 and general word of mouth. I would suggest that the “vast majority” of residents actually interested in the project, for or against, knew about the meeting.

Something seems to have gone amiss over the last three years. Quote from ex-community councillor Dobson in an article published in TheSouthern in November 2009: “We are getting people on the community council that know nothing about Jedburgh. I couldn’t see much point being on a council with strangers. They don’t have the knowledge that myself and other community councillors have. We know everything about the town.” It seems this is not the case.

I attended this meeting as I am in full support of Jedburgh having a skate park. However, I did have my own concerns over the location, as did many of the parents on the night. But due to the attendance of PC Chisholm and Gillian Clark, health and safety executive from GMO Consulting, all of my concerns were alleviated on the night.

I have an 11-year-old son who is just mad about scooters and BMXs, so much so I have to travel to Kelso, Galashiels, North Berwick and Edinburgh on a regular basis so he can use their skate park facilities safely – and we also do our shopping.

The proposed Jedburgh skate park is planned to be concrete. Drawings were available for view at the meeting and the kids in attendance chose their preferred design for submission to Scottish Borders Council planners. This would be the first concrete skate park in the Borders with the potential to draw in visitors from surrounding towns – visitors with money to spend in shops and cafes.

Let’s drop the “Aye Been” ethos and have a little more positivity about change in Jedburgh for the good of the community. There is no justification in scaremongering about contaminated land and noise as valid reason for opposing such a project. I have yet to see a purple tree in The Dip or a two-head polka dot duck on the River Jed.

The noise of kids having fun can only be stimulating to the residents of Jedburgh and perhaps attract more visitors with money to spend.

Craig Douglas

Howden Crescent

Jedburgh

In response to Mr Dobson’s letter published last week, I would like to raise a few points about the proposed skate park in Jedburgh.

First of all, the meeting was arranged through Facebook and advertised on Radio Borders. If you don’t have access to modern technology, yes, you would not have been aware of the meeting, but there was about 100 people there – including two councillors, PC Gary Chisholm, Jedburgh traders’ association and a representative from Scottish Borders Council (this lady came at the end of meeting as she was held up, so only a few people spoke to her). I would say this meeting had a lot of support and would have had more if posters were put up and there was more time to organise it.

Mr Dobson, you seem to have a few issues with this project which are totally misplaced.

This project would bring much welcome trade to Jedburgh businesses, from cafes to B&Bs as there would be people attracted from all over Scotland.

Another one of your issues about this being a fad, as you mentioned in an earlier letter, is so out of touch it’s embarrassing.

Along with a lot of other families in Jedburgh and the Borders we spend our spare time taking our children to Edinburgh, North Berwick and other skate parks in the Borders. This sport – which includes BMX, skateboards and scooters – is fast growing and not just a fad.

I also had issues with The Dip being the location for the skate park, but with three subways and no crossing of busy roads to get to the site and access to all the town’s amenities, this site seems ideal. The police backed this up at the meeting, saying that it would be easily policed as it’s near the road. Officers could keep an eye on it more rather than if it was hidden away.

I, for one, am getting behind this project. It’s about time the young people of Jedburgh had a place to go where they can meet up, enjoy their sport and socialise with friends in a safe environment.

Lastly, I would like to thank Sally Anne Pirt for having the energy and enthusiasm to bring this project so far and fingers crossed to get it built.

Ali Campbell

Ladylands Drive

Jedburgh