Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 14:54 UK

Council to function despite fire

Council office fire (credit Thomas Brightwell)
The fire spread from a wing of the building to the main offices

Staff at a Leicestershire council headquarters which was gutted by fire are being moved to temporary offices.

About 30 employees of Melton Borough Council will be working from the Phoenix Centre in Nottingham on Monday.

Other staff will be answering calls from the former tourist centre in King Street, Melton.

No-one was injured in the fire which destroyed most of the offices on Friday. It is not yet known how the blaze started.

Council is about people, not about buildings
Councillor Malise Graham, leader of Melton Borough Council

Structural engineers are due to examine the site on Monday.

The fire is thought to have started in a single-storey wing of the offices, which contained the council chamber and register office, but then spread.

Speaking on the BBC's Politics Show in the East Midlands, Councillor Malise Graham, leader of the council, said the authority had an emergency plan which meant it could continue to operate.

"The planning department is completely gone but everything is backed up, so it's really just a question of seeing what aid has been offered, getting departments issued to new rooms and getting new technology up and running.

"Things will not be back to normal for a very long time, but we will be able to cope.

"Council is about people, not about buildings. As long as people are looked after and the services and regulatory side is done, that's fine."

Local businesses have offered to help house council meetings.

The building also houses the East Midlands Regional Assembly.

Fire wrecks council headquarters
30 May 08 |  Leicestershire


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