Letter: Soni uppermost in skatepark’s success

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Much has been written about the skatepark on the Rec. The delightful Soni Cloudesly-Seddon from Barn Hill was a big help to both the first and the current skatepark.

Soni with others had set up Stamford Sports Association as a Charity to build a swimming pool on part of the Cattle Market site. That plan did not work out, but about £8,000 had been raised and this was wisely invested. So Soni transferred the cash to the YMCA charity, under special rules.

When Police Sergeant Howells visited in 2001 seeking funds for a proposed new Skatepark on the Rec, £10,000 could be promised by the YMCA, to add to a larger sum promised by Lincolnshire Police. Further donations were raised to meet the costs of the plywood structures.

This new venture was initiated, created and operated by the youth of Stamford to good effect. Until a visit by SKDC’s Linda Neal in 2008 caused it to be shut down allegedly because of safety concerns. But it had proved a real need.

When a new team proposed a long-life concrete skatepark on the Rec, the remaining £15,000 of Soni’s cash at the YMCA could be promised towards this project.

After huge efforts, the necessary funds were found and designs were put forward for planning permission. SKDC in 2012 eventually granted an onerous, costly and vindictive consent which delayed the work. Worse, our youth was not trusted to operate the park so lack ownership of it, which has consequences. This is unlike the first skatepark, where our youth stepped up to the challenge admirably.

The performance of SKDC has been a disgrace.

Sadly, Soni Cloudesley-Seddon died in 2004. She would have been full of praise for the determination, energy and skills shown by countless Stamfordians in supporting their youth with these two projects.

Egerton Gilman

Luffenham Lane, Pilton