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Councillors return to County Hall for first meeting after fire damaged building

Nottinghamshire County Council has conducted its first official business at County Hall since a fire caused serious damage to part of the building.

Emergency services were called to the West Bridgford headquarters on July 28 after a blaze took hold in the corridor used by ruling Conservative councillors, on the first floor.

The cause was later confirmed as an accidental electrical fault in the ceiling void, which caused the fire to spark and spread between offices.

It started above the office of transport and environment boss Councillor Neil Clarke (Con), who said he lost personal and work items as a result of the fire.

Some staff continue to work from alternative council buildings or from home while the recovery work progresses. Contractors are still on-site and the front entrance to County Hall remained fenced off on Wednesday August 31.

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The council says a phased return to the building has been taking place throughout August and into September as staff return to their offices and repairs are made.

However, members of the authority’s pension fund committee have met in the council chamber today (September 1) in what is the first official business at the building since the fire.

The meeting discussed elements of the Nottinghamshire Pension Fund – a pension scheme for council staff across the county’s nine local authorities – and how the fund is performing amidst the cost of living crisis.

Councillors attended the meeting in person at the council chamber, also on the first floor of the five-storey building, in line with the phased approach of welcoming staff back into the headquarters.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re doing a phased return with staff who would ordinarily be based at County Hall, it’s going well with all electricity and gas restored and contractors are in.

“IT services are back in already working in the building and councillors on the members’ corridor have been relocated to the Riverview building.

“The phased approach will see more staff getting back into the building, and we’re expecting to be more or less back up and running in two weeks.”

 

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