Councillors face disruption for 'quite some time' after County Hall fire

Significant disruption is expected to continue for a time at Nottinghamshire County Council following a fire at its County Hall headquarters that spread across four floors.

Twelve fire appliances had to deal with the blaze, which happened on Thursday, July 28.

The fire was initially found inside the corridor of the ruling Conservative group just after 11.30am, leading to all staff being evacuated from the building and a major emergency services operation.

Matt Reavill, group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We believe the fire started on the first floor and spread along the first floor, the second, third and fourth floors.

The fire has damaged a section of County Hall where councillor's offices were

“Due to it being an old building, it helped its travel between floors.”

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Coun Ben Bradley MP (Con), council leader, added there is expected to be disruption to the way his councillors conduct their business after the blaze started in their corridor.

He said: “It doesn’t look good at all for that portion of the building, certainly, it looks like we’re not going to get back into our corridor where we work as a political administration for quite some time.

“It’s our offices as councillors that seemingly have felt the brunt of it, so we’re waiting to find out what’s happened and why and to what extent that damage is – whether it’s spread along the corridor.

“We’re going to have to look for some alternative accommodation, I think it’s very unlikely we’re going to be allowed back into that part of the building any time soon.

“We’ll figure that out over the coming days to make sure we’ve got that continuity for our part of the job as well.

“The key thing now whilst we await that assessment is that everybody is safe.

“We’re looking at alternative working arrangements to make sure services can continue uninterrupted, which so far is all okay, so big thanks to the fire service.”

The building has now been handed back to the council by the emergency services and the clean-up is now underway.

The Business Continuity Plan has been initiated for those services based at County Hall.

Staff will continue to work from home or other offices, wherever possible, whilst the recovery plan is underway.

A council spokesperson said: “Thank you to staff for their professionalism over the last few days and to the emergency services, who continue to be on site at County Hall whilst the investigation is completed.”