Closure of Romford Ice Arena, Please Sign Petition

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Closure of Romford Ice Arena, Please Sign Petition

Lorraine Moss
This post was updated on .
Closure Of Romford Ice Arena

I am sure that most people are aware that this arena is due to close to make way for a supermarket.  There will be a new ice skating rink once the new leisure centre is built.  However, this will leave all of the users without any facilities for a few years.

I remember a while back at on of the "Ask The Cabinet" meetings many of the parents of children who used this area came to the Town Hall and asked for some type of temporoary  rink to be provided and the last I heard Cllr Michael White, leader of the council was exploring the possibility of a temporary ice rink.

There are a large number of people who use this centre and have spent time, effort and money on their children's ice skating lessons.  

I would be interested to hear from any users of the arena.

From The Romford Recorder

Skaters left without a home as doors close on ice rink

by Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Thursday, January 31, 2013
5:45 PM

   
»Coaches, parents and users of the borough’s only ice rink are campaigning for a temporary venue after discovering it will close in two months.

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Romford Ice Rink in Rom Valley Way will officially close on April 15, parents of children who regularly use the facility were told this week. The site will be taken over by Morrisons and a new leisure centre with an ice rink in Western Road is being proposed.

The proposals are subject to planning permission and they are expected to be decided this spring. If passed, the leisure centre will open in two years. But it means that there will be no ice rink in the borough until then.

Campaign group

More than 150 people have joined a campaign group to raise money for a temporary facility. They hope to work with the council to find a venue to use until the new one opens.

The rink’s figure skating coach Karen Solomon said: “We have all got the same aim – to make sure that we have a facility and we don’t lose it. We would have preferred this one to stay open while they build on part of the new site.

“We are hoping that, if we raise the funds, the council will help provide land or a venue. We want to be able to run it as a not-for-profit facility so that the children can still use it for skating.”

Julie Brown’s son Taylor, nine, has been using the ice rink for ice hockey training.

She said: “We knew it would close but we were promised there would be a temporary rink. The closest ones are in Chelmsford and Lea Valley. But they are too far away for people to go to without cars. The children are also part of a team and have become friends and train together. So it will be difficult for them not to still be able to do that.”

The council has confirmed that, after the closure, the ice rink will come back under council control at the end of April.

A council spokesman added: “We have prepared a detailed feasibility study regarding a temporary ice rink but no group has put forward concrete proposals.”
 

Please also see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romford-Ice-Skating-Club/195587940483699
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

AngelDelight
I was 14 when the ice rink opened and it was a big deal as so exciting.
I think it is very sad and there is emphasis on being healthy and keeping fit, how many youngsters are going to be without their activity?
I went there last a few years ago on a Sunday night for a period for disco skating and it was fab. There were loads of teenagers who were regulars and they were well behaved, brilliant at skating and really enjoyed it.
My husband spent most of his teenage years at that rink, him and his friends have very fond memories of it and they are all pretty stunned it is shutting and feel the current youngsters will miss out.
Ok, we might have a new rink/leisure centre and that won't be for ages - I don't agree where it is being built due to parking and town centre congestion but is there a chance we will have a new Morrisons but no new rink? Austerity measures and all that?
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
One of my friends was saying how her daughter and her friends go there of a weekend.  I have messaged the Romford Ice Skating club on Facebook and told them the there is a "Meet the Leader" event in the Liberty this coming Friday.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
Please sign online petition to not close Romford Ice Arena until a temp rink is provided.http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/romford-ice-rink-don-t-close-till-our-kids-have-a-temp-ice-rink-2 
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Romfordian
In reply to this post by Lorraine Moss
Gutless wonders canceld ask the Cabinet due to fear of being questiond on cotrovesial issues
Not a party activist but WAS a Labour supporter
CC
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena, Please Sign Petition

CC
In reply to this post by Lorraine Moss
My daughter skates at Romford and is devastated that the rink will close in April. From a figure skating perspective, much of the training is done early mornings both before school and at weekends starting at around 6am. To add on a significant commute to either Chelmsford or Lee Valley simply isn't an option for many, as aside from meaning the children would have to get up even earlier, you risk getting stuck in traffic on the way back and being late for school.

There's no question that a new rink is required - the current one has been neglected for years and would need substantial investment in order to bring it up to date. However whats really disappointing is the fact that the Council did not deem it necessary to provide a temporary facility so that all the dedicated children from both the Figure Skating and Youth Hockey Teams continue to have somewhere to train.

I think that a few years ago when Streatham Ice Rink was sold to Tesco's, part of the sale agreement stipulated that they had to fund a temporary rink for the interim build period, and can't help wondering why something similar wasn't taken forward by our council with Morrisons?

Children being involved in sport is so important, aside from keeping them fit and healthy it provides them with discipline, determination, sportsmanship and a real work ethic. I know that the council argue that in years to come the new Leisure Centre will provide a fantastic new venue in which to train, however thats little comfort to the many children who can no longer persue their dream of Figure Skating/Ice Hockey success.
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena, Please Sign Petition

Lorraine Moss
HI Jc and welcome to the site.

I think it is disgraceful how this has been handled and cannot believe that a temp facility has not been arranged.

I remember this was covered on the old site and I was under the impression that something was being sorted out.

There is a "Meet the Leader" event in Romford at the Liberty centre between 1 and 2pm this Friday.  It might help if some of the parents attend and raise this issue with Cllr Micheal White.

I have tweeted the links to the petition and put it on facebook and Streetlife.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
In reply to this post by Lorraine Moss
Only 17 more signatures needed to reach 1000.  Please sign.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Site Admin
Administrator
This comment was made on the old forum

From RozzieP

I understand you would like to hear from people who use the rink, and whilst originally I thought I would reply myself, I changed my mind and decided to copy the email which my 7 year old daughter has sent to various people:



I hope that you can help me. My name is Sophie Ann Page and I am 7 years old. A little while ago my aunti Karen took me ice skating and I really really liked it.
 
 I am lucky as aunti Karen teeches ice skating in Romford and she said she would teech me.
 
 Me and my friends go every Wednesday and we really like it, but my mummy just told me that people want to close down the rink and build a supermarket, and I dont know why as there are lots of other places to buy food why do they have to build a supermarket where the rink is ?
 
 If they close it down we wont be able to skate. We cant skate in a supermarket.
 
 Please can you help us to stop them closing down the rink. My mummy and daddy always tell us that sport is good and we even went to the Olympics so why are people stopping us doing sport.

 
 Also I love watching Dancing on ice and if we cannot skate then there will be no more people for the show.



 
 Thank you for your help
 
 Sophie Page



Think this says it all.

Roz Page
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
Ice rink ‘family’ fight for survival

Lee Power
Friday, February 8, 2013
3:20 PM

   
Youngsters fear for future

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Romford’s ice hockey ‘family’ face a fight for survival.

The club’s junior players put on a united front at practice this week, after it was revealed the Rom Valley Way rink would shut its doors on April 15.

But Romford Raiders boss Mick Cahill has revealed his concerns for the future, saying: “No offer of a temporary ice rink has ever been made by Havering Council.

“They’ve offered a warehouse. A rent-free, serviced building that would require private investment of up to £1.2million to fit out with an ice plant and additional features necessary for it to be used as an ice rink with even basic spectator accomodation and facilities.

“If the period of tenure was long enough to allow a return on that type of investment, or the chance to break even, I suspect the council would have had a queue of people with business proposals.

“Instead, the council thinking is that the temporary building would need to be surrendered when the new Leisure Centre opens, about two years from the demolition of the existing rink. Short of finding an investor who is prepared to take a £1m bath, that sort of commercial strategy will never fly and the council must know that.

“I have regular dialogue with Simon Parkinson and discussions are still ongoing.”
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
I emailed Cllr Micheal White a few days ago and have been advised by his office manager Julian Strong that he is currently looking into this issue with his cabinet colleagues and will respond shortly.

I have also contacted the CEO of Morrisons Dalton Philips via Linkedin and asked him to get in touch with me.  I will update this post as soon as I receive any response.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
Response now received from Cllr Michael White





“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Percy.
There all very reasonable all hail councillor White.
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”




CC
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

CC
In reply to this post by Lorraine Moss
Firstly, thank you Lorraine for supporting the rink users and taking the time to contact the council.

On face value the offer of a rent free serviced building seems fair, however what it doesn't cover is the fact that the cost to fit out the building with the necessary ice pad etc is estimated at up to £1.2m, a sum which means that for the duration the temporary facility is in place any private investor is unlikely to break even let alone make a profit.

The Council must know that the clubs who operate out of the rink have no hope of raising this sort of sum, and therefore the offer would appear to be nothing more than a PR exercise.
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
This post was updated on .
No problem JC.

Hopefully, some good news.  I rang London Tonight earlier and someone was going to call me back.  However, I thought it would be much better is they spoke to someone who is directly involved.  I posted this on the Facebook page "Keep Romford https://www.facebook.com/groups/495937833764550/.  One of the members has been in touch and it looks like they are interested in covering this issue.  Fingers crossed.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
Was on London Tonight at 6pm this evening http://www.itv.com/news/london/update/2013-02-13/romford-ice-rink-row/
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Independent man
The new ice rink and swimming pool is the jewel in the tory crown they hope to use this to promote their bid to win the 2014 council elections.
Although this is a much needed facility it has come at a great price,the new super store and 74 flats to be built on the old ice rink site will cause havoc to the traffic in roneo/oldchurch roundabout.
Drop that Drip Double Dip Dave
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

AngelDelight
In reply to this post by Lorraine Moss
Drat, missed it live, what would we do without the Internet!

What happens if the supermarket is built and in true council style things are really dealyed and we are still waiting for the leisure centre and new ice rink to be built/work starts?

I don't want or need a Morrisons! I especially don't want to buy/rent a flat/house on Rom Valley Way!
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Romfordian
In reply to this post by Independent man
Not the best place to put it either bet Morrisons think this bunch of clrs are total idiots no way would they have built there store there
Not a party activist but WAS a Labour supporter
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Re: Closure of Romford Ice Arena

Lorraine Moss
From The Enquirer

Skaters join forces to find new ice rink
 
BY Katie Mansfield
ANGRY ice skaters are joining forces to find a temporary site after discovering Romford ice rink will close in April.
 
Havering Council sold the Romford Ice Arena site on Rom Valley Way to Morrisons in order to fund a multi-million pound leisure complex in Romford town centre.
 
Morrisons is planning to build a new Morrisons supermarket and housing estate on the current home of ice hockey team the Romford Raiders.
 
The proposals, subject to planning permission, will see a four-storey leisure centre on Western Road. Plans include a replacement ice rink, as well as an eight-lane competition swimming pool, a learner pool, sauna and steam room, changing areas, fitness suite with studio, a dance studio and restaurant.
 
Leader of Havering Council Michael White said: “The value of the multi-million pound development far outstrips the market price of the ice rink land and yet we’re not planning to draw on taxpayers’ money - that’s how good the deal was for Havering. The current ice rink is now in a very poor condition and so this deal will secure skating and ice hockey in Romford for generations to come.
 
“The operator has now agreed to vacate the site by the end of May, which means the rink will need to close at the end of April. We certainly hope the operator will not go through with any threat to close earlier than that, as there is no need to do so, and it’s very unfair on users of the rink.
 
“Unfortunately, this would mean a period of time when there is no rink in Romford and I completely understand the frustration of committed ice skaters.”
 
The new development is due to open in 2015 leaving skaters concerned where they will be able to go once the Rom Valley Way site shuts down on 14 April.
 
Romford Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club coach Karen Solomon, 51, said: “We are in trouble really, we have several hundred young people who are going to miss out on their sport for the next two years. At the moment the rink is being underused because of how rundown it has become but it is a local resource.
 
“We don’t have a lot for young people in Romford. Skating is a magical sport, it is confidence building and to take that away from all these children- we will lose them- they won’t come back to the sport.”
 
Oki Boolkah, 38, has two sons, aged 13 and nine, who skate at the rink. She told the Enquirer: “My two boys play hockey, one for England U14s and once it shuts, what are all these kids meant to do? You can’t just put a talent on hold and say wait for two or three years. Come April there will be nowhere for them to train. It’s not just the ice hockey team and the figure skaters either. There are schools, colleges and kids there for fun during the day.”
 
The nearest alternative ice rinks are in Lee Valley and Chelmsford with parents concerned the rink’s closure could see children have nowhere to go and crime increase in Romford town centre.
 
Oki added: “Lee Valley and Chelmsford are too far away, the children still go to school and the extra travelling is too much. The team needs to train and trying to do that somewhere else just isn’t going to work. It has happened in other places; crime has gone up when they take a facility like this away. It could happen here too.
 
“Morrisons are coming into the community, into the area and they have a responsibility to the current users of the rink.”
 
Grandmother-of-two Sandra Cooper, 66, from Romford said: “My grandsons are heartbroken; they skated before they could walk.
 
“What are all these kids going to do? Roam the streets? There is no guarantee that Lee Valley and Chelmsford can even take us. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
 
David Godwin, 55, from Hornchurch, said: “There are hundreds of children who are part of this Olympic legacy and who have bought into this so called ‘Olympic dream’. How can this be taken away from them, they are training to be Olympians. My nine-year-old daughter has figure skated at the rink or the last two years. She is so upset and I’m disillusioned with it all. Who knows if this new centre will even be built?”
 
Romford Raiders game reporter Alex Nunn, 26, said: “I know that team management have a meeting scheduled with the rink at Lee Valley this week to discuss potential ice-time for next season.
 
“That is unfortunately the latest update available at the moment regarding next year, but the club will issue a statement when any further news is confirmed.
 
“Also, as the ice plant at Rom Valley Way is to be switched off on 14 April - midway through a potential playoff run for the Raiders - the team may yet need to find ice-time elsewhere in order to complete their fixtures this season if they are unable to get a one-week stay of execution from Arena management and Havering Council.
 
“Sadly I don’t know what will happen to the Romford Fury and junior/kids teams at the moment.
 
“As someone that lives in Romford, the loss of our rink is obviously a big blow to the community and the teams and kids that use the ice. Ice hockey is sadly very much a minority sport in the UK and rink closures have been all-too common recently. Thankfully we will have a new rink available in time, but the interim period without one will force a lot of kids - and our teams - off the ice.”
 
Cllr White added: “When rink users first came to us last year, asking for a solution, we looked closely at the feasibility of establishing a temporary rink ourselves. At the time, we concluded that the full costs of doing so were too much for taxpayers to bear. I’d like to make it very clear that we did not simply ‘promise a temporary rink,’ as is being suggested by some people. We never made that promise and it’s unfair to suggest otherwise.”
 
Cllr White said the Council is still exploring options for a temporary solution. He said: “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.”
 
A petition to stop the rink being closed until a temporary site has been found has been signed by nearly 1,500 people. To add your name, visit: www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/romford-ice-rink-havering-council-don-t-close-till-our-kids-have-a-temporary-ice-rink.
 
Date published: 13/02/2013 16:05:15
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”
― William Faulkner--
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