May 25 2013 Latest news:
Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Sunday, March 3, 2013
MP Andrew Rosindell has appealed to Mayor of London Boris Johnson and supermarket Morrisons over the future of Romford’s ice rink.
Mr Rosindell, MP for Romford, has thrown his weight behind a support group formed when the closure of the rink in Rom Valley Way was announced. They want a temporary rink until the new one is built.
The venue will close in April and the site taken over by Morrisons. A new leisure centre with an ice rink has been proposed for Western Road, Romford, and the idea is expected to be decided on this spring.
However, it means that there will be no rink in the borough until the new one is built unless supporters raise £1.2million to run a temporary venue.
Mr Rosindell said he told Mr Johnson that he was asking for his help with a matter of “great importance” to constituents.
He said he is delighted with Morrisons’ proposals but he is “deeply concerned” about the impact the two-year delay between the rink closing and the new one opening would have on those who use it.
He said: “It plays a crucial role in inspiring and encouraging young people to take up sport.”
He said that once the current site closes in April he feared that “without further support from Greater London Authority, the council or Morrisons, establishing a temporary rink will prove impossible”.
He added: “I firmly believe that securing the future of sporting facilities is essential if we are to uphold the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.”
He also asked Morrisons to “consider providing the funding for this endeavour”.
Cllr Michael White, Leader of the Council, said he had a positive meeting with members of the ice hockey teams this week. He added: “In the meantime, the user-group, in conjunction with a third party, are working up a business plan for the management of such a facility and are liaising with the council’s leisure services department.”