Talking West Cheshire

Ellesmere Port Councillors donate £5,500 for BASE Motopark minibus

15 March 2011

Our Place logoSix Ellesmere Port Councillors have together donated £5,500 to enable a new motocross park in Ellesmere Port to purchase a minibus.

Councillors Bob Crompton, Linda Cooper, Angela Claydon Justin Madders, Derek Bateman and Brian Anderson awarded BASE Motopark CIC the funds from their member budget grants to assist the park with its community inclusion plans.

The minibus will play a major role in plans to transport young people to and from the track via a collection and drop off service. This will also ensure that young people wanting to visit the park do not ride their bikes illegally through public areas.

Councillor Bob Crompton, who donated £2000 from his member grant budget, said: "The BASE Motopark project came to light through the Our Place scheme and shows what really can be achieved when a community gets involved with addressing its own needs.

“Once fully operational this park will have the potential to make an incredible difference to young people throughout the area and I wanted to help the BASE team in any way that I could.

"I hope that the new minibus will enable many more young people interested in motorcross, who may not have been able to make the journey by themselves, to visit the park and get involved with the fantastic community initiatives currently being put in place there."

Base Motopark CIC is a community youth project aiming to give local young people somewhere safe and controlled to ride off-road bikes and quads legally without causing disturbances within the community.

The park's design, which includes two practice tracks for beginners and more experienced riders and a training circle, have been brought to fruition by Andrew Paul, Lyndsey Paul, Graham Lee, and Sharon Holding.

The community-based, member-only project will see the BASE team working closely with local schools to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn to ride at the park.

An in-school reward scheme and school engagement programme will look to provide an incentive to children who work well in school - with points to be used at the track. The scheme will also help to tackle school truancy by encouraging young people to stay in school in order to become a member at the park.

Ideas for a volunteer programme to promote a good work ethic are also well underway, where young children will be able to spend time working at the park marshalling, monitoring the car park or cleaning up and receiving free-of-charge training from Andrew and Graham in return.

Councillor Derek Bateman said: "The BASE Motopark plans will not only tackle concerns within the local community but will help to give young people within the area somewhere to ride, develop their skills and grow in confidence.

"I am delighted to be able to support local working in this way and I wish BASE the very best for what promises to be a fantastic community-based project with benefits for all."

The park plans were put together following residents from the town’s ten neighbourhoods highlighting anti-social behaviour problems with young people riding small motorbikes on the streets through the Our Place project.

Similar parks have shown to have a positive effect on anti-social behaviour - where safe, licensed facilities have reduced motorcycle anti-social behaviour by up to 97 percent.

Andrew Paul said: “This project really comes from a family point of view. Young children cannot currently play outside and we want to change that and give young people something to get passionate about.

“BASE is very much about community. Young people within this area have always ridden illegally and we are working hard to not only provide them with a space where they can ride safely with professional guidance but also give them the opportunity to build up their confidence in themselves.

"We are delighted that the six local councillors have supported our project in this way - their donations have enabled us to purchase a minibus which will become invaluable in delivering our planned schemes for young people."

Base Motocross Group

Photo: Collette Linford (Cheshire West and Chester), Councillor Brian Anderson, Councillor Bob Crompton, Imanual Steel, Lyndsey Paul, Graham Lee, Sharon Holding, Andy Paul, Councillor Angela Claydon, Councillor Justin Madders and Councillor Linda Cooper.