BURTON’S MP has defended a controversial ice rink which was branded ‘an embarrassing blunder’.
Andrew Griffiths spoke out after the Mail revealed yesterday that the plastic ice rink, set up in the Market Place at Christmas, will be sold after running at a loss for two years.
But some Mail readers online were not so forgiving asking for a say in how their money is spent, adding that the rink had let Burton people down.
Mr Griffiths said: “It is important that the council do what they can to bring customers in the town.
“(With the ice rink) some things work and some don’t but it is always worth trying to make sure we are offering different things.”
The Mail revealed that the £27,000 ice rink, which also received a £14,000 extension, made a deficit of more than £3,000 following a Freedom of Information request (FOI) – prompting the new Labour administration to ditch it this Christmas.
Tory councillor, Richard Grosvenor, who was leader at the time, said it was hoped the ice rink would reinvigorate the town but blamed bad publicity and political opposition on its demise.
Asked what he would like to see this Christmas, Mr Griffiths said: “I would like to see more variety of shops. That needs to be the council’s and my focus. We have to attract more businesses to come and stay and open shops in Burton.
“I am really pleased that The Octagon shopping centre has been sold but disappointed that the proposed Debenhams development never went ahead. So we have had good and bad news
“As the economy picks up and people have more money to spend we need to attract new brands that people value.”
Meanwhile, one Mail reader, Kirsty Williams, came up with a solution and wrote: “What we really need is a proper indoor ice rink or a roller blading one, not something like this which looks horrible and shameful to the town. Things like this are letting Burton down and letting the Burton people down.”
Suzi Roberts also wrote: “To be honest it looked cheap and stupid and a total waste of money in my opinion. Let’s hope that the town’s people and visitors get something far better and more cost effective for this next festive period.”