TWO Whitchurch men have warned the town council against betraying its youth after pleas for a skatepark resurfaced recently.
Young people in Whitchurch recently called on councillors to support their renewed bid during a week when one of the town's police officers admitted there is nothing much for youngsters to do.
But after seeing persistent attempts by others to introduce a similar scheme in Jubilee Park some years ago rebuffed by the town council of the day, those involved warned current councillors against repeating mistakes of the past which saw £110,000 of funding scuppered, saying any new facility would combat anti-social behaviour.
"Ourselves and future generations were betrayed by councillors back then," said Pete Bailey, now 23.
"£16,000 was raised by ourselves and there were lottery grants too, but there always seemed to be a problem at the council's end.
"It rumbled on for several years and the council found any excuse not to build it. The funding had a time limit on it and was eventually lost.
"The skatepark could have been a legacy to its youth but they never seemed interested in investing in young people and unless that changes anti-social behaviour will increase."
His words were echoed by another former campaigner, Damian Martin, who blamed council "indecision, incompetence and constant bickering" for the lack of a facility and posted his thought's on the Herald's Facebook page stating: "It saddens me to see that children of this town don't want to stay here. This is contributing to shops, pubs and the town in general, closing down.
Whitchurch Mayor, Peggy Mullock, has said she would favour a skatepark at Sir John Talbot's Technology College.
"We have agreed to see the headteacher at SJT to see the site he is suggesting and move from there," she said.
Headteacher, Malcolm Roddy, has stated that any decision would need ratifying by Shropshire Council.
Treasurer of the Next Generation Youth group set up to support the initial scheme, Mike Ralph, said North Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson, had supported the project, which was to be the size of two tennis courts, and said the lost money had been: "A dreadful waste."
Mr Ralph confirmed £16,000 of funding still remains available for a skatepark.
Councillor Pauline Stokes, involved in decision making during the last skatepark proposal said: "It was a horrendous scheme, huge, vast and too big. Now we are looking into what can be achieved this time."