Brighton skaters felt cheated in the Sixties when the SS Brighton stadium in West Street was pulled down and no adequate rink was built to replace it.

They were promised a replacement at the nearby King's West centre. It proved to be a poor rink and, within a few years, it made way for cinemas.

More than 30 years on, the demand for skating has not diminished. Public sessions at a temporary rink in the Brighton Centre have all been packed this week.

Now Olympic gold medallist Robin Cousins, who has choreographed an ice spectacular which opens at the same rink next week, has put in his plea for a permanent skating arena.

He says a rink, which could double up as a sports centre, would be ideal for Brighton and Hove.

Robin is right and there are sites where it could be built along with other development such as at Black Rock in Kemp Town or Shoreham harbour.

There have been many schemes for an ice rink in the Brighton area over the years but all have come to nothing. The little rink in Queen Square is fine but not nearly big enough.

Skaters who want a full-sized rink normally have to travel more than 40 miles to London.

The pent-up demand is there and the city council should make satisfying it a top leisure priority in 2002.