I must correct the impression given by your headline “Gang violence could mar plan for new Lee Valley Ice Centre” on your report of a pre-planning committee meeting last month.

While it is understood that the area has gang and crime issues, I’m pleased to say – as we stated at the meeting – that Lee Valley Ice Centre does not and has not experienced these. There are no gang issues at Lee Valley Ice Centre.

Thousands and thousands of young people use the current centre as a safe space to meet, exercise, burn off energy and have fun every year. The proposed new venue offers greater opportunities for this – with two ice rinks, a gym, community spaces and café – at a time when there is a dearth of youth clubs and other activities for young people.

The community benefits of this project are immense. We’ve explained that we will fund a £250,000 ten-year project which, among other benefits, will promote community cohesion. We’ll work closely with the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Hackney to design this to make sure that their key priority groups get a chance to take part in a host of activities for free.

Shaun Dawson

Chief Executive

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority