OPPOSITION councillors are calling for the ruling administration to give a clear commitment to the future of Basingstoke’s ice rink.

As previously reported in the Gazette, concerns have been raised about the short-to-medium term future of the Planet Ice facility in the Leisure Park following the announcement of a £300 million redevelopment of the site.

The redevelopment is at least a decade away, but the ice rink’s operational lifespan is fast running out.

Pressure group Basingstoke Ice Rink Users Forum has been asking for answers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council about the facility's future.

At tonight’s (Thursday) full Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council meeting, Labour members are set to call for a clear commitment from the council.

Leader of the Labour group, Councillor Paul Harvey, will put a motion before members calling for an “unequivocal commitment to the provision of a new ice rink.”

Cllr Harvey said: “Why is there a hesitation from the Conservatives to give a commitment to a facility which we have seen is vital for the town?

“From casual users to the Bison, who are one of our most successful sports teams, we need to have an ice rink in Basingstoke.

“So why are the council skating around the issue and not giving people the commitment they want?

“We want total transparency on this, not any dealings behind closed doors.”

Members of the Ice Rink Users Forum have been previously told the Gazette that from speaking to NewRiver REIT Plc, the company tasked with delivering the £300 million Leisure Park redevelopment, it seems committed to the long-term future, but have not had any confirmation from the borough council.

At a meeting of the full council in March, members of the users forum attended in an attempt to get some clarity over the rink’s future and called to have a meeting with members to resolve uncertainties.

However, due to the recent borough elections cabinet member for property and development, at the time Councillor John Izett said no formal meeting could take place until purdah had finished and a full assessment of the site had been conducted.

The borough council was approached for a comment but did not respond by the time the Gazette went to print.