Contact Officer: Kate Dean
This briefing note provides the Committee with an update on the Ice Rink.
The Chair introduced the report which provided the Committee with an update on the Ice Rink.
The Chair advised the Committee that due to an error, the report had been incorrectly classified as exempt under item 4 when it should have been classified under item 3 (commercially sensitive).
The Chair invited Sally Cashman to address the Committee, her comments included:
· The Basingstoke Bison played in the National Ice Hockey League, the leagues current plan was to run a 16 week season from the end of January. Therefore, any work to refurbish the rink could not begin until the end of May.
· If the repair work took between 6 and 8 months, the earliest that the rink could reopen is January 2022.
· Basingstoke Junior Ice Hockey Club would not be accepted to compete in the national league structure for the 21/22 season as it would have insufficient ice time to complete the majority of its fixtures.
· Many of its members were part of Regional and National Elite pathways and would have to leave to join other clubs in order to continue in those pathways. If the players were lost, the 5 junior teams would be uncompetitive and not financially viable leading to the club having to fold, ending 30 years of youth development in Basingstoke. There were also not enough spaces at the nearest teams to absorb all the 120 members the majority would leave the sport.
· The loss of ice would also affect survival of the 5 recreational hockey teams and 4 synchronized skating teams who currently trained at the rink, they had also taken many years to grow and develop to the numbers that they had now.
· Without continuity of ice, over 30 years of ice sport development in Basingstoke would end.
· Would the Council support and discuss with Planet Ice the building of a short-term temporary rink such as the one Planet Ice installed for Slough Borough Council when the Council refurbished Slough Ice rink.
The Chair invited Heath Rhodes to address the Committee, his comments included:
· Questioned whether the Committee were aware of the Scope of Works documents submitted to the Council on 16th October 2020.
· A request for a funding contribution on the works had also been submitted to the Council on 29th October 2020.
· The timeframes for each element of the renovation in the Scope of Works and the overall duration that the full scope of works would take was sent to the Council on 20th November/2020.
· The quote from Ice-Tech was sent in July 2020 with options on the same scope of work and an estimate and a further document from IPW dated 19/08/2020 offering various funding options as well as a figure on two types of new build had been circulated
· The rink was currently functional for another ice hockey season.
Officers responded to the questions raised and explained that building a temporary rink had been considered and discounted previously on the basis that Planet Ice had a temporary rink available to be redeployed but it was now unavailable.
The Officers also advised that the other reports mentioned were in draft form and therefore could not be shared.
In response to a supplementary question, The Interim Executive Director of Borough development advised that the Ice Users forum had written to all members of CEP with an indicative proposal for a smaller temporary rink similar to that used in Slough but that the Council needed to receive more information to allow the issue to be discussed further with the Committee and Portfolio Holder.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property advised that on the 7th December he had met virtually with Planet Ice and Standard Securities and discussed their proposal detailed in the confidential report. He further advised that they had also talked about a temporary rink similar to the Slough option but there was a question as to how viable it would be.
A question was asked in relation to a smaller temporary rink and whether potential sites should be reconsidered. The Interim Executive Director of Brough Development advised that they would need to respond after the meeting.
The committee resolved that, due to the confidential nature of the information to be discussed, the committee passed a resolution that, by virtue of paragraphs 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting.
On resumption of the meeting the Chair confirmed that members had discussed the confidential report at length.
Resolved: The Committee notes the report.