The Ice Rink is the jewel in the crown of our Leisure park. It is a well-loved facility, used by people from far and wide. As the home of our most successful sports team the Basingstoke Bison it is a source of local pride. It is the place where our budding Olympians go to practice. But its future is threatened by our Councils plans to redevelop the Leisure Park.
Developer New River Retails initial plans did not include a new rink. After fantastic campaigning by the Basingstoke Users Ice Rink Forum and support from Labour Councillors, that situation changed, and the Tory run Council eventually conceded that they should support the possibility a temporary rink whilst the site was redeveloped. Sadly, the Council has decided to take that option off the table. The Council no say that the developers would be prepared to let the existing rink stay on the site.
However, this means that the current leaseholders Standard Securities and their tenants need to get on with vital repairs to the rink. We worry that they will decide not to do that and just close it unless the Council steps in. The Council is refusing to help out in any meaningful way.
Has our Tory Council got its priorities right?
It won’t spend money on the Ice Rink but £10M of public money was spent on a hotel owned by a US company in Basing View and £2M our money was used to help Eli Lilly refurbish its offices. Both are wealthy companies making good profits. We think the Council needs to do more to support the Ice Rink and make sure the people of Basingstoke benefit.
Basingstoke Labour will keep fighting for the Ice Rink.