Lack of intellect

I read, with a mixture of horrified fascination and despair, the latest response from the hysterical, Daily Mail reading Nimby's of Portishead to the council's efforts to provide facilities for the town's disaffected youth. The negative reaction of so man

I read, with a mixture of horrified fascination and despair, the latest response from the hysterical, Daily Mail reading Nimby's of Portishead to the council's efforts to provide facilities for the town's disaffected youth.The negative reaction of so many residents to the proposed skatepark development at the Lake Grounds beggars belief and those responsible should be ashamed of themselves. To portray all potential users of this facility as 'yobs' shows a distinct lack of intellect and is downright lazy. Might I remind you that these 'yobs' are someone's children and are almost universally good kids at heart.I would respectfully suggest that it is those that are 'frightened' by gatherings of children who have the problem - so why should our town's children suffer for the emotional frailties of a handful of local residents? This is not a violent town and any incidents of violence will no doubt be handled by the police as they would anywhere else.Portishead, like most towns in the UK fails its youngsters miserably when it comes to the provision of facilities which interest them. We offer very little in the way of healthy activities for kids aged between 13 and 18. The lack of any cohesive transport system means they are trapped in the town with nothing to do but 'hang out' - even the bus to the Mall is priced so prohibitively it is beyond most youngsters' reach.As someone who devotes a large amount of time to running a community football team (the most rewarding thing I have ever done) I see how well kids react to those that genuinely want to help and guide them. Do not be surprised if our kids lose their way if they are constantly demonised and marginalised by those who can't be bothered to get to know them. Of course the lake grounds is absolutely the correct place for a skatepark. This is a community space - owned and paid for by all the residents of Portishead. It is certainly not an extension of the gardens of Lake Road. If you choose to live adjacent to a large community park you must expect some noise and disruption.A community space should provide activities for people of all age groups and interests. After all, we provide a football pitch for footballers, cricket pitch for cricketers, tennis courts for tennis players and boating lake for model boaters - why on earth would we begrudge a skatepark for skaters? It is a really nice idea to offer activities to families with children of all ages. It is my experience that most 14-year- olds have grown out of feeding the ducks and would welcome an alternative.Teenagers are simply good people in a difficult transitional period between childhood and adulthood. Of course they need to rebel a bit and stick two fingers up at society - didn't we all? And, of course, there are one or two miscreants amongst the bunch, just as there are in all walks of life. But I certainly am not prepared to dismiss an entire generation for wanting to wear a hoody and perform a few 'ollies and grinds'.These children are the future of our world and should be treated accordingly. Why not take some of that energy generated in working yourselves up into a frenzy of selfrighteousness and indignation and put it to good use in our community?Tim Ross - Via e-mail


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