Fresh hope for skateboard park

Published on: 24 Mar 2017

A FATHER who is campaigning for the council to finish a skateboard park built in memory of his teenage son who was tragically killed has been given fresh hope.

Jamie Clapp was just 13 when he died in 2007 after the light aircraft he was travelling in crashed into a field and burst into flames.

His father successfully fundraised £100,000 and the Jamie Clapp Memorial Skatepark in Emersons Green opened in 2011.

But Mr Clapp says South Gloucestershire Council has never finished the park despite promising they would put artificial verges around the site, build a picnic area and put up BMX ramps.

Mr Clapp is now being supported by Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore who has written to South Gloucestershire Council on his behalf.

A spokesman for Mr Skidmore said: "Chris has written to the council expressing Mr Clapp's concerns and we are waiting to hear back now. 

"As this is a council matter we have also given him the details of his local councillors so he can pursue this further.

"Chris remains in support of Mr Clapp and we will do all we can to support him."

Mr Clapp will put his case to Emersons Green Town Council on April 13 when he will outline his concerns and ask councillors for financial support to finish the site.

Mr Clapp said: "I've got to put my case to them and see what they say. My main priority is to see the skatepark finished by putting in artificial grass around the outside as so many young people use it, especially in the summer. At the moment there's just one bit of false grass and it needs to be finished off. It looks an eyesore."

Last month South Gloucestershire Council told the Voice that artificial grass had been trialled along one embankment but "as it was purely aesthetic and did not offer any safety enhancements, this did not prove to be cost effective".

An inquest into Jamie's death heard that the pilot, 34-year-old Robert Gunter, from Downend, had taken the drug ecstasy before the flight.

Mr Clapp was then told the insurance company would not pay out because Mr Gunter was under the influence of drugs and this had invalidated any claim.

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