Southampton City Councillor, Jeremy Moulton, has called for fines to be introduced for skateboarders who refuse to move along from outside Southampton’s O2 Guildhall.
The outside of the O2 Guildhall, one of the three options for this year’s Graduation Ball, is frequented by skateboarders.
To Cllr Moulton, it is at risk of becoming the “most expensive skate park in the UK”, with the cultural centre having a value in excess of £50 million.
Cllr Moulton speaks of concerns from residents of Freemantle ward, with one person complaining after seeing one of the skateboarders urinating on the entrance to the Guildhall. Moulton suggests that:
“It doesn’t create the right image for the area… In total, the whole area including the culture quarter cost in excess of £50 million.
“We need to move them on or this is the most expensive skate park in the UK.”
Cllr Moulton argues that Southampton City Council should hold talks with the skaters about staying out of of the square, and, if this fails, the authorities should implement a Public Spaces Protection Orders to ban people using their skateboards in the area. Skateboarders who refuse to comply could be issued with a fine of up to £1000.
Cllr Moulton’s concern is for the £10,000 benches that are being damaged by the activities of skateboarders. He has also suggested that skateboarders should be encouraged to use the new facilities at Hoglands Park and that more money should go into the development of this.
Dexter Mathurine, who regularly skates in the area, disagrees with Cllr Moulton.
Mathurine told the Daily Echo: “There’s all these stereotypes of skateboarders but we’re real people, harmless.
“Skateboarding is now an Olympic sport.
“Our wheels are made of plastic, I’d guess cars driving through here would cause more damage than us.”
Do you use the area for skateboarding? Do you agree with your concerns? Let us know in the comments below.