I WAS disappointed to hear that a government agency had, on grounds of health and safety, decided to demolish a BMX track devised and constructed by a group of local lads.
I am unaware of any reports of injuries arising from these young people using and enjoying this home made facility but, as is so often the case, ‘health and safety’ has become the shield that shelters ‘jobsworths’ exercising unreasonable power.
We have here a group of young people who, instead of expecting money from the public purse, set too and built a BMX track through their own efforts.
How much did it cost each of us, the tax payer, to employ contractors and their heavy equipment to carry out the demolition of this facility? Instead of carrying out this vindictive act, how many potholes, potential death-traps for cyclists, could have been filled in?
We are driven to consider all of this in the light of the Coalition government’s big idea, the ‘Big Society’.
Like many people I was disappointed to hear the long promised Children’s Centre at the old St John’s Sunday School in Cleckheaton was to be ‘delayed’ yet again – yet again despite those repeated assurances that it was to go ahead last year. Those assurances have up to now proved to be so ephemeral that one really has to doubt whether this project will ever come to fruition.
If our ‘Big Society’ is to grasp the initiative and to fill the gaps left after cuts and yet more broken promises then we need to encourage community initiatives such as the home grown BMX track.
This group of young people should have been congratulated for their endeavours, made on behalf of their community. Instead the powers that be have done their best to alienate them.
Philip Hammond, transport secretary and boss of these ‘jobsworthies’, is reported recently as saying that he is considering raising the national speed limit to 80 miles an hour. In support of this he said ‘safety alone cannot be the sole determining factor when changing limits’. Yet his department determined that a group of young men riding push bikes over dirt ramps was just too much of a risk to allow. To see it all destroyed on spurious grounds is shameful and all our public representatives should be asking why.