An update from SPAG

Following discussion of the new skate park on this thread, SPAG member Jacqui has provided an update, which we are re-posting:

I am really pleased to see lots and lots of children using it and all having fun and getting on together and getting some exercise to boot. There is a fantastic atmosphere there. I have been approached by many many kids and many more parents saying they think it great.

We are trying to do something about the rubbish really the bins should have gone in before the build was finished but Glendale are going to put 2 extra bins in asap. There is a unforeseen side effect that the acoustic fencing we had to have is in fact causing more noise than the actual skating. I hope this is resolved soon and that people will not have to put up with these loud booms that are currently happening.

There is some Grafftti which the council are to remove asap. This is something that does happen in the park occasionally already and a zero tolernace is the way to deal with it.

As to kids getting into the park after dark this also was happening before the skatepark went in. However I agree it may at the moment be more than usual. I went down to the park 5 mins before closing last night and found one bike and 4 roller bladers no skater's and I asked them to leave. They were all very polite but they did say that they hadn't heard the bell. Just as we were all walking out the man came to lock the gates and told me that they don't sound the bell anymore. 

The boys I spoke to said they were not asked to leave and were just staying and getting locked in. (On purpose I suspect ) but I think we need to get the park keeper to be more proactive. We realise that this could seem a bit of a daunting task for him as he hasn't on the whole had to deal with larger crowds of older kids. So we are introducing him to the local boys so he has names and faces and hopefully support when he comes to ask them to pick up their litter or leave. 

There has been a fantastic atmosphere in the upper area this week and the ball court is busier than usual. I asked a few of the kids about this they said "Yeah its cool now it’s fun to be here" I think they think of it as their own space. I am pleased they feel this way and the ball court getting more use is an unexpected bonus.

We will work hard to talk to all the skaters and other users about not skating down into the park and we will keep this up over the next coming weeks. Please do the same as long as your polite most of the kids will be back.

Anyone who has concerns they would like to discuss further please email us at and we will get back to you.

Let’s let the Skatepark get settled in and as a community monitor its effect. It will have teething problems but I believe it will all be so worth it. 


Anonymous said...

It's still early days there. I've seen 3 levels of people using it: very young kids skateboard/scooters, schoolkids to around 15-16 skateboarding and older skaters. The park is very small and the layout beign what it is, it will take a while for everyone to find the right lines around it and not get in each other's way/run into the fence (this is unavoidable btw, the zero run-out from the long flat bank makes it impossible not to hit the fence 9 times out of 10).

I also think the 'bottom end' needs a re-think later on too. The bowl section leaves most of us with no where to go with all the speed you pick up on the way down (seems the cement isn't actually level but still slants down). So in my opinion the best option is to extend the bowl round into a full half circle and MAYBE add a railing at the top of that section only.

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the last thing that teenagers want is a facility with parents overlooking what goes on and picking up litter and 'chastising' them when they, well, act like teenagers,

Teenagers want to f*ck people off, that's their job.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's put in full half circle and in some railings; maybe extend it to add a run out?

Enjoy what you have, it came despite many objections (contrary to what SPAG says).

Anonymous said...

What a lot of nonsense there. Written by a member of an action group.

"I have been approached by many many kids and many more parents saying they think it great."
And have heard many park users and neighbours saying it isn't.

"Graffitti ... This is something that does happen in the park occasionally already"
But it is happening MORE and we as ratepayers are having to pay for removing this because of te skatepark users.

[children] "getting into the park after dark - this also was happening before". But it is also happening MORE and the blame is firmly down to the skatepark. It is apologetic nonsense to say that if something illegal happened infrequently in the past, then that is a justification for it happening more now.

"The boys I spoke to said they were not asked to leave". Children have to be ASKED to obey the rules? Why haven't their parents taught them to obey the rules? If the park-keeper is scared to turf them out, it just shows the sort of community we live in and how they have been brought up.

"I think they think of it as their own space". It isn't their own space. The park is everybody's space. Again, a bad reflection on the way they have been brought up as chldren. They should be disuaded strongly from thinking that it is their own space.

"but I believe it will all be so worth it. " It isn't and it won't be except for the minority who will use it until a new fad comes along. It is an noisy eyesore. Even worse than the ball court was - and that should never have been built there in the first place.

Victorian Dad said...

Hear Hear !

Anonymous said...

Can someone please point out to me what is tangibly wrong with people being in the park after dark?

Anonymous said...

"Can someone please point out to me what is tangibly wrong with people being in the park after dark?"

There shouldn't be anything wrong with it. People should be able to use the park at ant time of night or day IF they were responsible.

But they aren't responsible. Therefore, since society won't afford to have police/park wardens there twenty four hours a day to weed out the irresponsible ones, everybody has to be kept out of the park at night and the gates locked.

The worst antisocial behaviour occurs at night - graffiti, arson, vandalism - it all occurs at night. Even drug-dealing went on frequently in the park in the past.

As in all things, the irresponsible people make life bad for everybody.

So if the skateboarders and ballpark users wouldn't disturb the neighbours after dark, if the graffittiers wouldn't graffiti, if the vandals wouldn't vandalise, we could all use the park all night every night. But they do, so we can't. And that is just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

"Teenagers want to f*ck people off, that's their job."

Well that is the western world's 20th century view. And one of the reasons that the place is such a dump.

But, you do many teenagers a disservice by categorising them all this way. Not all of them are like that. And it is the job of adults - and especially their parents - is to teach those who are otherwise.

cease and desist said...

The comments on this issue across the site are making me hate Brockley. We sound like a bunch of self-righteous little Englanders. To outsiders looking at this site we come across like a load of pricks...

Voice of reason said...

The skatepark is there now. If you were originally against it - tough. You lost.

SPAG has recognised there are problems (litter, graffiti, after dark access etc) and says they are addressing them.

Give it a chance and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

But the problems need to be highlighted and the culprits dealt with. Either that or the skatepark closed. It was built - it can be demolished if the promises aren't kept.

It was going to be quiet - it isn't. It was going to be graffiti free - it isn't. The users were going to be responsible - some of them clearly aren't.

SPAG needs to deal with it quickly. It is their responsibility and obligation to do so. Otherwise it should be closed.

Voice of reason said...

Have you read the response from SPAG? That is what they are doing. Give them a chance.

Anonymous said...

"I think they think of it as their own space". It isn't their own space. The park is everybody's space. Again, a bad reflection on the way they have been brought up as chldren. They should be disuaded strongly from thinking that it is their own space.

20 points for the first persn to point out the irony in this particular whine. Heres a clue, it's everyone's space. Skateboarders are an everybody, we live in London. It's not a nature reserve or a designated quiet space.

Brockley Nick said...

There seem to be one or two people desperate to "fail" because they were against it from the start and will seize on any of the problems associated with its popularity. It is regrettable that they are acting like that, since the whole issue has been dogged by hysteria since the idea was first proposed.

And if skating is a "fad", it is a fad that has lasted for at least 30 years. I wonder how long something has to be popular before we can acknowledge that this stuff is popular with lots of kids and we as a society should provide for it.

Other "fads" include "the internet", "mobile phones", "video games", "the female orgasm", "marrying for love" and "decimalisation".

The person who described the football cages as another mistake which should not have been allowed has given themselves away.

Hugo said...

Indeed Nick. The people shouting it down remind me of the pricks sat at home reading the Daily Mail in 2000 shouting "I told you the Millennium Dome was going to be shit" or who will say that the Olympics this year will be a failure as soon as someone gets arrested or Britain fails to win something.

Telegraph Hill residence, this is your notice. You live in a collection of shitty houses on a slight gradient off Old Kent Road. The bogeymen you've conjured up will do more harm to your mental state than actual real people and tangible things ever will.

Mondee said...

I see that Lou has started posting anonymously.

Hugo said...

Actually I very much saw Lou as one of the aforementioned.

Anonymous said...

'Hugh' is dead. Long live 'Hugo'

Brockley Nick said...

I went up there today to see for myself what it was like. Report soon.

Shame said...

Nick are you not going to censor Hugo's post. It's offensive to refer to people as pricks just because you dont agree with their views. They are residents just as much as anyone else and have a right to express their dissapointments - even if they are not giving it a fair chance.

Also saying people live in 'shitty houses' says more about Hugo than those he is railing against.

Welcome to 2012 said...

Shame read the post, he says Daily Mail readers are pricks. Not anyone else. And that counts as fair comment!

Hugo said...

Indeed - it's backed by empirical evidence.

Shame said...

Welocme to 2012 - I read the post -Hugo says that they remind him of pricks.

Not nice.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a really firm opinion on the skatepark either way - probably highly irresponsible of me not to consider the matter more fully. When I did get involved I could see the downsides (I was anti it in the upper park), but I appreciated the positive parts of SPAGS pitch very much and was impressed by the young group who put together their presentation at the community meeting.

I've lived on the hill for only a few years. We came here because we walked through the area by chance one day and loved it (yes, it was the summer, we got done). The park was a big draw: the atmosphere in it, the families and 'young people' (teenagers, and early 20s) who hang out in really seemed to us like a vibrant and happy community oriented area. People did (and do) share both parks.

Even after a hot summers day when groups/families have been eating and drinking etc there is always a bit of rubbish left behind by a few. But we've never seen such an amount of rubbish as scattered around the skate park and beyond. SPAG says that bins will be provided soon; that is good, but there are quite obviously bins in the immediate area of the skate park that could also have been used but were not..... It does worry me that the bins will make no difference. That I've never seen graffiti before in the park, and it's there now, also worries me. (and yes - that I haven't seen it doesn't mean it hasn't happened....)

I will wait and see what works out and whether measures can control things like this. And, yes, I admit that I am probably (now) more of a skeptic than before: mainly because these negative things (things that I never even envisaged coming with the skatepark) have happened in such a short space of time and have taken me a bit by surprise.

Does that make me a teenager hating, daily mail reading idiot?
Why? The park, for us, is such a visible embodiment of the community in which we live. Teenagers (or anyone else) happily skating in one bit of it is absolutely fine by me and fits in with the daily life of a busy community park; what's happened in the very small space of time since the skatepark opened doesn't fit that image. I think it's completely understandable that people are nervous about how the skatepark is going to impact on the environment, it doesn't mean they want it to fail.

TJ said...

Anon at 23.38 well said. My position exactly. Didn't want it in the Upper Park but fully supported it in the Lower Park. I am glad it is there; but think local residents are quite right to worry about the rubbish and be vocal about it without being refered to as Daily Mail Readers or 'pricks'.

Westsider said...

If someone were to complain or worry about litter, as you two have, I doubt anyone would call you any names. But the hatred and bile dripping from some of the other posts is palpable and the exaggerated claims from the likes of Lou is what sets people off. If they are going to post such horrible stuff, people are going to call them out on it.

Tamsin said...

Curious as to your report, Nick...?

If everyone wants to see it at its best there's the formal opening on Sunday - 12 to 4pm.

bradythorne said...

My Goodness will you all just listen to youselves?
Can't believe these comments, the bitching and back biting here.
And you want teenagers to behave with more respect!!!
Time the positive aspects of young people were talked about more often.
Give it a chance to succeed.....I'm fed up with people continously trying to pre-empt failure in everything and everybody(local cafes, shops, pubs, kids!!)
It is a frequent subject on this blog.

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