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Rink plans sliding into new year

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

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EXCITING plans to bring an ice rink to Cheltenham will not become a reality in time for this year's festive season, but could still go ahead in future.

That's the message from people behind the scheme to install a winter wonderland in a section of Pittville Park, complete with a 20 metre by 10 metre synthetic ice rink for skaters to enjoy.

When the proposals were first tabled last year they got a frosty response in some quarters, with a group of residents voicing concerns over parking problems and excessive noise at night time.

The borough council gave the concept its backing, saying it was even prepared to stump up £10,000 from its Promoting Cheltenham Fund to make it happen, but the Echo understands plans have now been dropped for this year.

Susannah Moffat, manager of Central Cross Drive Cafe in Pittville Park, was one of the people behind the idea.

She said: "At the moment we have no plans to progress plans for the skating rink this Christmas.

"It's a bit of a shame but that's not to say that it won't happen in future.

"When we first discussed the idea most of the feedback from residents was very positive.

"However, there was a minority who raised concerns and these would have to be overcome if it is to go ahead."

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  • daniboy72  |  October 15 2012, 3:26PM

    Buying or renting a house or flat close to a public park affords many advantages. The views are green and pleasant. There are, or should be, prospects of people having fun. You do not have to go far to walk the dog or to catch the sun... You have not, however, acquired a country mansion with your own tranquil park where trespassers can be prosecuted. You have, or should have, no more rights over that public area than anyone else. For a few weeks of a year, there are disadvantages to such propinquity to a public facility. Suck it up, ladies and gentlemen, and be grateful for the advantages the rest of the time. A public park is a place for people at leisure to foregather and frolic. Its maintenance is paid for by every Council Taxpayer in the Borough, not by local residents nor by the Council. If, in their frolicking, the public elects to sing, snog, remove the majority of their garments, play ball, skate, skateboard or whatever, they are exercising their innate freedoms, and it is the Council's job merely to enable them to do so. That frolickers owe courtesy and consideration to their fellows and to residents should go without saying, but 'picking them up before they drop' or imposing restrictions upon their freedoms in anticipation of abuse is in itself a gross abuse of power. Cheltenham sorely needs spaces where people – and especially the young – can disport. Cheltenham's image needs association with such diversion and frivolity still more. The town's reputation is, frankly, frowsty, and the overwhelming aroma that of old lavender-bags, dusty blazers and ill-contained urine. The Council, by anticipating misfortune before it occurs and by heeding dreary vintage crepitations rather than public welfare, is contributing to this perception. A few lap-dancers during the NH Festival? The Council attempts to turn Taliban and police our morals. Someone suggests rickshaws? The Council obstructs an ecologically sound, amusing initiative on the grounds that something might go wrong. Their brilliant environmental protection department concludes that music at a one day Festival for thousands in Montpellier can be no louder than the surrounding traffic for fear of disturbing a handful of local residents. A skating-rink which would supply exercise, education and diversion for the public is opposed for fear that locals might be affronted. Here's a suggestion. Grant the majority their freedom without let or hindrance. Should that freedom be abused (as, for example, by the litter louts who hang around the Montpellier skatepark every night), correct it by efficient policing, the encouragement of peer-pressure and, where necessary, prosecution. This policy has been followed for centuries in England, and it is amazing how responsible even ordinary people can become when permitted to enjoy their freedoms.

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  • gallopingbear  |  October 15 2012, 12:42PM

    P.S Bah humbug!

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  • gallopingbear  |  October 15 2012, 12:28PM

    Grahambarker, totally agree. It seems the minority always manage to spoil things for everyone round here. Unlike other towns, Cheltenham does not have a town centre square where these attractions can take place, and so a few old crusts manage to put a stop to anything festive or social. The rink would mainly attract families and youngsters keen to have the traditional sort of fun these moaning old folks probably had when they were younger. Heaven forbid we give the youngsters anything constructive and active to do! They probably prefer to watch them through the window with binoculars whilst hitting speed dial to tell the PCSOs that there are young people loitering in the park again.....

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  • joy1234chelt  |  October 13 2012, 6:20PM

    Exactly the same story copy/pasted from last year It would appear!

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  • Grahambarker  |  October 13 2012, 8:10AM

    This doesnt surprise. Some one iving in Montpellier wants to close the festivals down and someone in Pitville wants to stop a christmas ice rink becasue they too might hear someone enjoying themeselves. Typically - anything having to go through CBC takes three times as long as anywhere else so innovation, success and progress grind to a halt.

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