SLOUGH Borough Council has been urged to consider “the whole picture” by frustrated users of the now decommissioned Slough Ice Rink in Montem Lane.

The council had been expected to deliver a temporary rink while a long-awaited £7.7 million facelift was undertaken to convert it into a modern skating facility.

Skating groups thought they would be back on the ice in early November, two weeks after the closure of their permanent home.

However, the Observer can reveal that the council is still to agree a deal for a temporary rink and does not expect such a venue to be available until December 17.

The news was met with anger and frustration this week as skaters, such as Slough Jets and Special People On Ice [SPICE], now fear for their own futures.

Steve English, director of operations at Slough Jets, vented: “It’s so frustrating for all user groups and has caused a lot of issues.

“We wouldn’t have entered the league this season had we known this. The council led everyone to think it would only be a two-week delay.

“You try and work with people but we have all been let down. Our home games continue to be postponed and we’re disappointed with the council.

Slough Observer:

PHOTO: Slough Jets director of operations, Steve English (left) says all ice rink users have been let down by Slough Borough Council.

“We’re trying to keep the players motivated but there has been so much hard work involved for something that doesn’t need to be.

“There is real pressure on the club and it’s a really bad time for us, I’ve never known anything like it.

“I don’t think the council realises the whole picture, it’s affecting the whole community.

“I feel sorry for all the users who can’t do what they want to. They’re lost people at the moment.”

Windsor On Ice has come to the aid of SPICE, who are unlikely to enter a competition in Canada in March, and have seen professional coaches quit or move to other clubs.

SPICE secretary Joe Hodgson said: “The kids are devastated and it’s a mess. Everything we are hearing is vague and we’re anxious as time is marching on.”

The Slough synchronised ice skating team pulled out of a competition in Wales, costing them £2,000, and are unlikely to compete at the British Championships.

Their chairman, Shirley Goodgroves, said: “We need to see action. I’ve already had kids pull out of the team and others are thinking about it.”