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Newtown: Town council facing hefty bill for HQ revamp

  • 9-7-2013

A council is facing a bill for thousands of pounds after its Victorian headquarters was branded "unsafe and unacceptable" in a fire safety report.

Newtown town council has been told the 19th Century building's fire alarm system needs upgrading along with fire doors and it might need re-wiring.

The council is working out the total costs, which are already around £11,000 without electrical work.

The building came close to being shut down last month.

The council said it was "rather daunted" by the amount of work.

The council building also houses a museum honouring the social reformer Robert Owen, who was born in the town.

Deputy mayor Richard Edwards said the fire alarm system upgrade and new fire doors could cost about £11,000, while an electrical survey of the building would set the town council back an additional £850.

An asbestos survey is also required.

"We were really close to seeing the building closed a week last Friday," said Mr Edwards.

"We were given until 11am to sort things out so we held an emergency meeting and obviously agreed to comply with the fire safety report.

"I'm told the fire safety officer was 80% happy when he returned but a lot of work needs to be done, such as moving combustible and flammable items from certain places.

"We've decided to hold an in-house review as well to make sure things are better in the future."

He said the building had failed to comply with a series of new fire regulations which had been introduced in the last few years.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2013 BBC


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