Lewisham Council’s commercial ban at Folkestone Gardens Skatepark, Deptford.

Subsequent to raising concerns about the encroachment of the planned play area onto the skatepark, we have been informed by Glendale and Lewisham council that all commercial activity at the skatepark is to cease.

After raising concerns about the plans for Folkestone Gardens, and urging the council to get advice from professionals who are experienced with siting skateparks within play areas, we were asked to formally apply for a license to perform our lesssons.

We supplied all the material requested, including our SkateboardGB accreditation, insurances, DBS checks. We met Glendale at the skatepark to talk through what we do, and how we do it. No concerns we raised, nor reported to management. We asked that reasonable license fees were levied, due to the fact that we work with local families, and that we want to keep the service accessible.

A few days later however, Glendale emailed us to say that Lewisham Council has decided that all commercial activity at the park is to stop. We asked for a reason for this, and it has not been forthcoming. As such we are asking about the appeal process, and will be making a freedom of information request in an effort to understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Unfortunately the decision is:

  • making the skatepark more dangerous place
  • preventing children being active
  • affecting the livelihoods of our coaches

Lessons continue on a donation basis

For the time being we are going to continue the classes on a donation basis, because we feel that the youth of the area deserve a service like this.

The suggested donation is Β£10, which goes directly to Coach Rick. School of Skate will continue to manage the bookings on a loss making basis.

What can you do to help?

We have received messages of support from you, our customers. Thank you for those. Currently the only contact we have regarding this matter is Laura Cherry. Please feel free to email her about the situation. You may also want to talk to local councillors or the MP. Please message us if you’d like to help/get involved.


4 Replies to “Lewisham Council’s commercial ban at Folkestone Gardens Skatepark, Deptford.”

  1. Ngozi Russell says:

    Corporate bullying. No other way to describe this. Local Authority staff know that they can get away with anything as laws of accountability are practically non-existent. Even when they are held to account, it costs so much (time, effort and money) that most people can’t afford to pursue this line of action. And for those who do pay to pursue it, the worst that happens is that they are told to apologise – but apologies don’t change their future actions.

    1. Stu says:

      What concerns me is that when a child gets hit in the head by a skateboard, it will be the owner of the skateboard who will get in trouble, not the individual who skipped the risk assessment when planning the use of the space.

  2. MrE? says:

    Hmmm….as easy as it might be to lambast the Council, the fact is that facilities meant for free use of residents and citizens that are then pirated for Commercial advantage, Really should be charged accordingly. it was the same for Gym Instructors taking advantage of parks etc. to run classes during lockdown. Fact is if U’ve got lots of (let’s face it usually middleish class kids) blocking up playgrounds, who you are then making a nice wedge from…then surely you should pay a proportion of those earnings to the owners of the facility. obviously IF you are running the sessions for FREE – and Trust me I have been running community events genuinely for free since 2015!! – Then they wouldn’t even be in position to charge U!! How do they recoup the costs of construction, or cover the maintenance etc. CK Flash ran Peckham BMX for YEARS without charging a Penny!! Are U going to say how can you and your coaches be expected to offernclasswsnfornchildren for Free….when this is what others have done for eons…..Or offer your services to the council, who will pay U normal council rates of maybe Β£20/hour like the rest of us Community minded folk…and then kids really can come for FREE, cos let’s face it, those who the Skatepark was built for, Still can’t afford your session fees!!!…πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„βœŠπŸΏπŸ–€πŸ«ΆπŸ½

    1. Stu says:

      Hi MrE. Firstly, all of our learning material is online for FREE. We take accessibility to our services very seriously, and don’t want our customers financial position to affect that access. To respond to your point regarding ‘pirating community assets for Commercial advantage’, we haven’t tried to avoid paying any licensing fees, we are more than happy to do so. If you’d kindly read the article, the point we raise is that we have been denied a license without being given justification, in a draconian move by Lewisham Council. This denial happened after we pointed out how unhappy the community were with plans for the space. If you’ve paid off your mortgage and can afford to work for free you find yourself a very lucky man, and I do hope to be in your position in the not too distant future, however most of us need to pay the man and still eat.

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