Ice rink petition handed to Arun

SUS-171128-130550001
SUS-171128-130550001

A petition calling for Bognor Regis to have a permanent ice rink has been handed to Arun District Council.

More than 2,400 people signed Bognor Regis Civic Society’s call for the facility to be incorporated into regeneration plans for the town, following the success of the temporary rink over the festive season.

The petition, which needed 1,500 signatures to be debated by councillors, was submitted to Arun at a meeting of full council last Wednesday.

Society deputy chairman Hugh Coster said: “The important thing is that Bognor Regis has a vibrant and busy attraction, which was proven by the temporary ice rink at Christmas, to give visitors a reason to keep coming here on a repeat basis to enjoy our town.”

The petition noted the permanent rink could be designed as a multi-use arena which would help secure the attraction’s financial viability, Mr Coster said.

He believed the petition could have attracted 5,000 backers if the society had continued – but the figure was not needed to ensure a debate was held.

He said: “We closed the petition after just over a month because the signatures came in so fast that our 1,500 target was passed before we knew it.

“If we had continued we would have easily had 5,000 signatures or more, but that simply wasn’t necessary.

“All we wanted to achieve was that Arun should debate the matter positively and sensibly.”

Arun leader Gill Brown said the petition would be debated at a later date, once signatures had be verified.

The Conservative leader faced questions over Bognor’s regeneration later in the meeting.

Liberal Democrat councillor Matt Stanley called for a public meeting to discuss the linear park proposals for the Hothamton car park site. It came after his disappointment over the small number of people who attended a public consultation over the plans last year.

But Mrs Brown said: “The matter has been decided long ago when we carried out a massive public consultation exercise all over the district in 2015 and we collated the responses and that is how we came up with the design for what people wanted in the linear park.”

She added: “We need to get on and do what the public have asked us to do.”