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Talks for plan to rescue fire hit Stanley
6:00am Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
HIGH level talks are being held in the New Year to discuss plans to help a North-East town centre which lost two historic buildings to fire before Christmas.
Civic leaders and public service chiefs are meeting to come up with a rescue package for Stanley in County Durham.
Several businesses were forced to close following an arson attack on a Victorian row on Friday, December 13.
The blaze came about a month after a fire, which broke out at Wongs Chop Suey House, led to the destruction and subsequent demolition of the Edwardian Elite Buildings.
The meeting is being held at County Hall in Durham after the full council meeting on Wednesday, January 8.
It will be attended by Susan Johnson, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, Durham County Council’s directors of regeneration and neighbourhood services and ward councillors.
Councillor Carl Marshall said: “We are going to come up with some sort of plan in the short term for the town centre and say these are the immediate steps we are going to take.
“It will be a coordinated approach and we need to get the targeted improvements put in place quickly in the New Year, before we look at the long term.”
MP Kevan Jones called on the council to do what it could to help the town centre’s traders.
He said: “The council ought to give them some sort of relief if trade has been affected. They should look at their rates and see what sort of scope there is for that.”
Paul Montgomery, who owns three pubs on Front Street, said it was critical the council throws the forming mining town a lifeline to regenerate its ailing economy.
He said: “The bottom of Front Street looks like Beirut. It looks like we have gone back to the war. Stanley is tired and anaemic and it is going to have an effect on people psychologically.
“The council is going to have to spend some money up here and someone needs to take responsibility for it.”
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