A BOURNEMOUTH councillor is calling for an update on any progress made in bringing a permanent ice rink to the town.

Independent Cllr Ron Whittaker will use the next full council meeting on January 21 to ask when the council might see firm proposals to build an Olympic-sized rink at Kings Park. Last October, councillors were told an unnamed company had expressed an interest in operating a rink but that negotiations were still at a very early stage.

Cllr Whittaker will ask council leader John Beesley how serious their level of interest is and whether, seven years after the council formally resolved to make it a priority to secure a permanent ice rink for the town, 2014 will be “decision year.”

The council has previously held talks with leisure operators Burnham and with AFC Bournemouth but both came to nothing.

Cllr Whittaker’s question also follows the launch of an online petition set up by former Westover Road skaters, calling for Bournemouth to build a permanent facility.

A spokesperson for Bournemouth council said they were committed to working with the private sector to provide a new permanent ice facility at Kings Park.

“We are currently in discussions with an ice rink operator and we remain committed to the provision of a new ice facility in Kings Park. However, at a time when the council’s financies are under severe pressure, we need to ensure that any proposals are economically viable and can be developed and operated without subsidy.”