Thousands get behind Waterlooville skate park petition

CAMPAIGN From left, Lewis-Jay Ashman, 13, with his friends and supporters of the petition Jay Barnes, 12, and Nathan Baldwin, 12, at Jubilee Park in Waterlooville. Picture: Sarah Standing (133485-1062)

CAMPAIGN From left, Lewis-Jay Ashman, 13, with his friends and supporters of the petition Jay Barnes, 12, and Nathan Baldwin, 12, at Jubilee Park in Waterlooville. Picture: Sarah Standing (133485-1062)

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A DETERMINED schoolboy has used his initiative to campaign for a skatepark – and has been astounded after more than 2,500 people supported him.

Lewis-Jay Ashman had had enough of seeing children risk their lives as they rode their scooters up and down pavements and dodged cars.

So the 13-year-old, who attends Cowplain Community School, set about creating a petition on Facebook.

Within a week, there were 2,500 likes.

Lewis-Jay, who lives next to Jubilee Park in Waterlooville where he hopes the skatepark could be built one day, is now taking his campaign to Havant Borough Council.

There is no such facility in the heart of Waterlooville.

Lewis-Jay, of Jubilee Road, said: ‘For quite a long time, people have suggested having a skatepark at Jubilee Park.

‘I thought I would make that happen.

‘Within the first day we got about 200 likes and people kept sharing the page.

‘In a week, we got 2,500 likes on Facebook.

‘This shows it’s something that people want.’

He added: ‘I would not just let it sit on the sideline. I wanted to make a change.

‘We saw some kids jumping and up and down on the main road on their scooters.

‘I said to my dad that this is what we are going to change. I want to give children a place they can go.’

Lewis-Jay’s friend Jay Barnes, 12, said: ‘He should be really proud of what he’s done and keep going.’

A flurry of positive comments have been left on the Facebook page.

Louisa Jack wrote: ‘This is just what the park needs!’

Waterlooville councillor Peter Wade said: ‘He has done a great job and all credit to him. His campaign is excellent.’

But Cllr Wade said a skatepark was already planned for the Berewood development and was unsure if another could be built at Jubilee Park, despite it being some distance away.

The building of a skatepark would probably have to come from developers’ contributions or a lottery grant, but Lewis-Jay says he is not giving up.

Cllr Wade added: ‘I don’t think they would do another one, but they could do.’

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