AN £11,000 skate ramp offered free to Upton last October could be installed at the Hill Centre, instead of the flood-prone playing field behind New Street.

The idea is favoured by beat manager Dilip Sarkar, who receives regular complaints from people in Mulberry Drive about noise and disturbance caused by groups of skaters and skateboarders.

PC Sarkar said he had even encountered a woman from Welland dropping off her children with their skateboards.

"People up there say they can't stand it any more. The youngsters skate on the road, which is dangerous and an offence under the Road Traffic Act," he said.

"It's also anti-social because the high-tensile nylon wheels make a terrible row. They jump over the traffic calming ramps and use candles to wax the kerbs (to help them slide or 'grind' better). It's a real nuisance to residents.

"The vast playing fields at the Hill Centre seem the best practical site. Putting the skate ramp there would get the kids off the road. They could skate to their hearts' content and the noise wouldn't bother anyone because there are no surrounding houses."

Those already meeting at Mulberry Drive might not want to go into town to use a ramp on the playing field but it would attract other skateboarders to the town centre and could cause problems there, said PC Sarkar.

Hill Centre manager Sheila Murray said: "It would be a waste of time putting the ramp where it will flood and having to spend money cleaning it up every time.

"In principle, we have a suitable area for it but it depends what the residents feel about it.

"It's going to cost about £5,000 to set it up and we want to see those who are going to use it helping to raise the money. The kids would need to manage it themselves."

Upton people will be able to have their say at an open meeting in the Hill Centre on Wednesday (March 21) at 7.30pm. It is being called by Upton Town Council to discuss the implications of accepting the skate ramp, offered free by Malvern Hills District Council.

Members want to gauge the level of support and commitment among skateboarders and their parents.