CHILDREN have been enjoying skating on the temporary ice rink which has opened on the Arcade site – but not everyone is convinced about the new facility.

The 12 square-metre rink, on the long derelict site on the corner of Hoe Street and High Street, is now open seven days a week.

Council leader Chris Robbins has said: “This is without a doubt our most exciting and ambitious plan for the former Arcade site so far, and one that we know our residents are fully behind, having had them tell us that an ice rink was right at the top of their ‘wishlist’.

“As well as giving local people something new and different to try their hand at, we’re also hoping that this will bring in people from further afield and show them exactly what our part of London has to offer once they’ve tested their skills on the ice.”

But some of the contributors to the Guardian's website have been unimpressed by the temporary facility.

Larry T Lemur, of Walthamstow, said: “Having seen the rink this afternoon I find myself totally underwhelmed. I've seen bigger jacuzzis.

“If this is really 'the most exciting and ambitious plan for the site so far' then I suggest Cllr Robbins gets out more.

“Or better yet just gets out.”

While another reader, the Stowaway, said: “Another totally embarrassing venture by the council, with room to install what could have been the biggest ice rink in London and in doing so make a substantial profit, what do we get?

"A rink the size of a kiddies paddling pool, and a economy B&Q shed decorated with crepe paper snow. "

Leading councillors have recently been divided about the long-term future of the Arcade site.

The Labour group has pushed through a scheme to press ahead with a plan to fund a swimming-pool led-development with £35m of borrowed money without a financial appraisal or feasibility study.

They have also agreed to sell the swimming pool at Waltham Forest Pool & Track site, in Chingford Road, or unspecified “alternative assets” to raise cash for the development.

Lib Dem leader John Macklin is angry about the proposed sale of the pool and track, while Conservative Matt Davis remains sceptical that a swimming pool will serve as an effective "anchor tenant" and wants to see the council wait until the economy picks up before embarking on the scheme.

The ice rink will be open from 1pm to 7pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and from 2pm to 7pm Monday to Thursday.

Admission is initially £3 for 40 minutes but may rise at a later date.

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