That isn't our Norton Road vert ramp, unfortunately! But ours could be just as good. It's a video of the St Neots skatepark vert ramp, operated by Huntingdonshire District Council, freely open to all.
19 July 2021: Norton Town Council voted against saving the Halfpipe. Existing supporters and and newcomers, having witnessed an appalling meeting where facts and opportunities were dismissed by a handful of councillors, were determined to keep the issue alive in a bid to save and restore the Halfpipe. Please find below a diary of activity surrounding our quest to safeguard the skate park and the Halfpipe for the benefit of our community.
18 August 2021: The Norton Mayor cancelled this Extraordinary Meeting of Norton Town Council which she had agreed to host, the purpose of which was to progress the Halfpipe. This was the agenda and you can also read the team's proposal here. With the council meeting cancelled, supporters of the project met at the same venue, discussed their concerns and exchanged ideas about how to move forward. You can watch the meeting here. We wrote again as a community to Kevin Hollinrake, following Councillor Ann Spencer's cancellation of the meeting, in order to update him, as requested in his earlier reply. We asked him to take a more detailed look into what was going on, as he had done with some other local issues. The letter can be viewed here.. We did not receive the support we would have liked and decided against any future lobbying of our local MP.
20 August 2021: An informal meeting between Norton Town Council and our Project Team took place. It was relatively positive. Norton TC commissioned another RoSPA inspection of both the Halfpipe and the rest of the skatepark to assess what needs to be done to make good both.
23 August 2021: Community protest took place outside the Norton Town Council offices as Councillors arrived for their August Council meeting. The Halfpipe was not on their agenda. See footage of the protest.
20 September 2021: Further protest held as Councillors met for September Council, at which stage the RoSPA report had not been received. At the Council meeting, a number of councillors called for an Extraordinary meeting of Council to consider the latest facts and take a new vote on the Halfpipe. The date was provisionally set for 11th October.
11 October 2021: The Extraordinary meeting was cancelled by NTC who had just received the second RoSPA report. They wished to review and deliberate it before convening to discuss & vote at the Council meeting on 18th October.
18 October 2021: The October vote never happened. The second RoSPA report was rightly disputed as it conflicted with earlier advice that had been provided to NTC. Clarification was sought by Martin Brampton, Chair of Malton and Norton Town Partnership, over conflicting recommendations. This went to the very top. David Yearly, Managing Director & Head of Play Safety at RoSPA Playsafety, confirmed that the second report was erroneous. He reissued a corrected report. The position is that the HALF PIPE DOES NOT REQUIRE SUPERVISION. We have to wonder how the ‘mistake’ came about. We would have thought that this would put councillors in a position to vote at the November council meeting. But, despite being presented with expert information, several of these councillors did not appear to acknowledge the latest RoSPA advice. NTC decided that a structural report was needed to assess the frame.
15 November 2021: By the time of the November meeting, no engineer had been appointed. At this meeting, calls were made by a number of councillors for a vote to take place asap with Councillor King speaking about democratic duty – something that has been lacking by the game playing of the opposing councillors.
20 December 2021: The December council meeting did not happen due to concerns over escalating Covid cases.
17 January 2022: Council met and we were pleased to report on some progress with agreement reached on the appointment of a structural engineering firm to assess the viability of the Halfpipe frame, and an understanding that two quotes from professionals were imminent on bringing the skate park and Halfpipe up to scratch. A report on the NTC meeting can be found here.
21 February 2022: The focus of the Town Council was on getting the Skate Park reopened. Campaigners were invited to a meeting with some Council members to look at quotes received from professionals in skate park design, and users and residents were consulted over the ramps being proposed. On the Halfpipe, a final structural report was due in by week commencing 28th February. This, alongside quotes received, were to be discussed by NTC either at an Extraordinary Meeting to take place after 4th March or at the 21st March Council meeting. See here for the full February Update.
21 March 2022: Norton Town Council met. We understood that the Council had been in receipt of the structural report for several few weeks but there was a clause in it stating that it couldn't be shared. It has since been agreed that it can be shared with both MNAP and the companies who are looking to quote. At the time of writing, no timescale had been defined for achieving these next steps. It is now nearly 8 months since the Town Meeting of Residents where the community asked for a resolution on the Halfpipe. By the time Council next meets in April, it really ought to be in a position to present quotes on what it would take to restore it, and to consider funding options. The March update sent to supporters can be found here.
For different ways you can support or continue to support the campaign, if you haven't already, please join our mailing list. We won't share your details, and you can unsubscribe any time.