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Tuesday 22 December 2015

Cheshire East Council reaffirms its commitment to help and support the people of Bosley as police bring to a close their search and recovery operation


Cheshire East Council has reaffirmed its commitment to protect, help and support the people affected by the Bosley mill disaster.

Cheshire Police have announced the end to their search and recovery operation at the site of the Wood Flour Mill where four people lost their lives in July as explosions tore through the factory.

The site has now become the responsibility of the company. This follows the conclusion of demolition work related to the search and recovery operation, which has now been officially closed. 

Cheshire police has now withdrawn from the site and responsibility passed back to the owners WTL.

The families of the victims and those directly affected have been notified of this process.

Cheshire East Council will continue to support Cheshire police and the work of partner agency’s to establish the circumstances around this tragic incident and support the local community, going forward. 

Four people died and five were injured, in explosions and a fire at the wood flour mill in July.  Investigations into the cause will continue into the forseeable future with many follow up inquiries still to be made as part of the investigation.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of communities, said: “Cheshire East and all the agencies that have been working together since this tragic incident happened want to reassure the local community that they are doing everything they can to ensure a safe and effective handover of the site back to the responsibility of the mill company (WTL).

“We and our partners have been working to re-open Tunstall Road to the local community and businesses before the Christmas period and that task has now been carried out.

“The Council and its partners have had positive meetings with WTL about the requirements for ensuring the safety and security of the mill site – and we will continue to work with the owners to ensure this.

“The Council and its partner agencies would like to reassure the local community that we are doing everything we can to minimise any risk from the site to residents, businesses and road users through security and other measures.

“I would also like to reassure local people that we will continue to support the community of Bosley for however long it takes to restore and rebuild their community.

“At this time of year, as Christmas approaches, our thoughts are naturally with the families of those people who have lost their lives and all those deeply affected by this dreadful tragedy.”

The Council is leading a multi-agency shadow strategic recovery co-ordination group, whose main aim is to work together as a partnership with the affected residents and employees in Bosley and Staffordshire, to restore the community following the disaster.

Hoardings have been erected around the mill site and the majority, but not all, of the highway next to the mill has been cleared, as well as swept and cleaned.

Further work to make stable the cottages affected by the mill explosion will take place in January.

Until this is completed, a 10mph advisory speed limit will be put in place at the site to limit speed and vibration, alongside single-way traffic operating under traffic signals.

The Council is leading a multi-agency group to work with the residents of Bosley and employees to try to restore the community following the disaster. 

There are a range of sub-groups working to ensure that the individual needs of all those

affected by the incident are fully met. Their action plans cover three main impact areas:

● Community health and wellbeing (social effects);

● Environmental and infrastructure (physical effects); and

● Business and economy (economic effects).     

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