The Ice Rink opened in April 1988 and is now in serious need of refurbishment or replacement.

The key to the rink's problems is a heater mat, is a series of pipes which are set in a layer below the brine pipes that freeze the ice pad.

This layer is warmed by the waste heat you get when you cool down the brine to freeze the ice pad, the heat from the heater mat stops the extreme cold freezing the ground beneath. This has ceased to work.

In 2000 Basingstoke & Deane sold the lease on the ice rink, a public asset, the lease was a fully repairing lease, however, they did not conduct a condition survey of the building or plant.

Were Basingstoke & Deane aware of the heater mat problem at the time? Initially they ignored the problems but as our campaign has progressed it has become apparent that they do have an obligation to the town and the ice users to make this right.

Either a new rink is required or the present one made fit for purpose whilst this happens, they need to ensure the future of ice in this town.

There are four parties involved, Basingstoke & Deane own the land, Standard Securities own the building, Planet Ice run the rink, NewRiver Retail will be redeveloping the Leisure Park. Surely it is in all parties’ interests to share the cost of solving the problem?

Standard Securities hold the head lease on the building itself, now is in a state of serious disrepair, the refurbished building would have a new lease of life. Planet Ice will have an ice rink fit for purpose, ready to serve the town for many years to come and provide a home for the thriving ice community here.

The council would show they do care about the Boroughs assets, the wellbeing of its residents and that it is willing to acknowledge past mistakes and help correct them.

New River would have a newly refurbished ice rink, ready to use, ahead of the remainder of the scheme. A sign of their willingness to include a popular and valuable community asset in the redevelopment.

Thousands of people that use the rink, figure skaters, synchronised skaters, ice hockey players, aged from 5 to 65, public sessions for all ages, all have been patient, waiting for decisive action from the parties concerned. It is time for those parties to actually demonstrate that they care and really do want an ice rink in the town’s future.

Sally Cashman, chair of Ice Rink Users' Forum and Stewart Tempest, chair of Basingstoke Junior Bison and Buffalo