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Skating supporters demonstrate outside Romford Ice Rink

PUBLISHED: 16:45 14 February 2013

Romford Ice Hockey Club players and campaigners fear there will be no ice skating rink in the borough for two years after the closure of Romford Ice Rink. Picture Sandra Rowse.

Romford Ice Hockey Club players and campaigners fear there will be no ice skating rink in the borough for two years after the closure of Romford Ice Rink. Picture Sandra Rowse.

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Supporters of Romford’s Ice Rink demonstrated outside the town hall last night (Wednesday) to appeal to the council to help them with a temporary rink.

The rink, in Rom Valley Way, will close in April and the site will be taken over by Morrisons.

A new leisure centre with an ice rink in Western Road is being proposed and is expected to be decided on this spring.

However, it means that there will be no ice rink in the borough until then unless supporters raise £1.2million to run a temporary venue.

Karen Solomon, figure skating coach at the rink, said: “The demonstration showed the strength and plight of the people who use it and what the young people will lose.

“We had a meeting on Friday with Cllr Michael White and asked questions about the ice rink. He said he is still prepared to provide a building if we come up with the money.

“We are asking the council to consider when tendering for businesses to run the new facility to ask them to run the temporary one too.”

Zoe Hanks, mother of Tommy who is in an under 14s hockey team and regularly uses the rink to train, said: “The rink is very important to Tommy. He will be devastated when it closes, and the rinks in Lee Valley and Chelmsford will be too far away for him to go.”

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Michael White, told the Recorder: “If the skating clubs and other rink users are able to put together a viable business plan to manage a temporary rink, we will provide a site and a building. We’re already looking at potential sites in and around Romford and we’re very happy to talk.”

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