James Sunderland calls for Government support for Bracknell Ski Slope and Ice Rink

Speaking in the House of Commons, James Sunderland calls for Government and local council support for valuable leisure and sporting facilities such as Bracknell Ski Slope and Ice Rink when they are facing financial difficulties.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

In east Berkshire, Bracknell is very proud to have a flagship ice rink and ski slope. It is important to the community and is used by many people locally and more widely. I have heard recently that there are fiscal pressures on that particular facility, and I am worried that it may close. I do not want that to happen, and I am going to champion my constituents and ensure that it does not. I am confident that, with support from the community, perhaps from the local council and from local businesses, we can generate the funding we need for this facility to develop and thrive in the future. Does my hon. Friend think that this is a legitimate use of public money and that these facilities, important as they are, should be supported by both local and central Government funding?

Jonathan Gullis

My hon. Friend will know from the many conversations we have had that I am certainly a non-state-interventionist Conservative, but there are times when the Government must intervene. Kidsgrove has a dry ski slope as well, and I completely understand how important it is to protect such sporting facilities, because once they are gone, they do not come back. I am sure the people of Bracknell will be absolutely delighted to ​hear that my hon. Friend will champion the ice rink and ski slope. Why should they not be enfranchised to have something that they can be proud of and access in their local area, especially as summer holidays are unlikely to be going ahead as normal? That could be the only source of relaxation for people in Bracknell.