Colchester Council has “ignored” pleas to hold an open discussion with skateboarders eager to skate outside Firstsite.

The council has stopped skateboarding outside the art gallery, which became a focal point for the activity after it opened in September, and launched an investigation into its effect on the area.

Skaters started their own petition to be allowed back on to the site and have since gathered 300 signatures.

Rob Ellingham, of Colchester shop Double Cork, said Colchester Council has ignored the group’s attempts to get in touch.

He said: “I have tried to contact them three times since November, but we haven’t heard anything from them since then to now. It’s a long time. We really want to work with the council on this.”

Concerns were raised about the skaters at Firstsite after some people said it was inappropriate and even dangerous.

Steps outside the gallery were also damaged by the skateboarders.

Martin Hunt, Colchester Council deputy leader, said the skateboarders should hand the petition in at the next cabinet meeting on January 25.