I CONDEMN THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FIRE WHICH DESTROYED THE WIGWAM ROLLER RINK IN BANGOR
This is an act of senseless vandalism that has destroyed one of the most successful community run facilities in the Borough. For the last eight years the centre has been run by volunteers and has provided leisure activity for hundreds of local teenagers. It has not relied on public funding but only local volunteers and it is ironic that it should be destroyed by members of the local community.
I visited the rink a few hours ago and met many of the devastated children and adults who use the centre including some who had lost their personal skates/Equipment in the fire.
It is the home of Bangor Chiefs Inline Hockey Club and the players, along with their families and friends, have worked tirelessly over the years to establish a first class rink in Bangor
The club has grown from strength to strength and at present houses 20 in line hockey teams, two football clubs, Skaterzise a ladies only club for female skaters with 100 members, it is also open to the public and participated in Summer schemes where clubs from all over Northern Ireland came to use the facility. It is also used by youth groups GB and Scouts and Church and community and is the only purpose built roller skating rink in Northern Ireland
All this has now been destroyed through a senseless act. It is important that all this is not lost and I support the motion by Alderman Anne Wilson that the Council should offer help to these groups and see if we can offer temporary accommodation or alternative premises for at least some of the community activities.