Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Kronospan fire: Community concerns must be answered

Plaid Cymru councillors have called for an independent investigation into the recent fire at Kronospan and resulting health impacts on Chirk residents.

In a question to Wrexham Council's Executive Board, Plaid Cymru group leader Marc Jones asked:
"Following the latest fire at Kronospan and public concerns about its impact on health, and given Wrexham Council's role in coordinating the multi-agency response, what is the council's view regarding:
- carrying out an independent investigation with community representation into this fire and previous fires at the plant (17 in the past 18 years)
- establishing permanent air-quality monitoring around the site?"
Cllr Jones said he had spoken to several residents affected by the latest fire, which resulted in children being hospitalised: 
"People have told me how they were choking in their own homes as a result of the fire. Even a week later there was a very distinct acrid chemical smell in the air and there needs to be openness and transparency about any investigation. The Fire and Rescue Service has done its job in establishing the direct cause of the fire in the log yard but that then raises further questions that residents will want answers to in terms of monitoring and safety.

"This cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet and that's why I want Wrexham Council to take a clear stance in calling for an independent investigation to make sure this kind of incident does not happen again and the health and wellbeing of current and future generations in the area is paramount."
In response Lawrence Isted said meetings had taken place with Kronospan, Labour and Tory politicians as well as NRW and the council to improve transparency and public confidence. He added that the council’s investigation into the fire will conclude by the end of April.

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