Update on the Kronospan fire

I wanted to express my sympathy and concern again to all the residents of Chirk and the surrounding area about the air quality problems that they have experienced over the last days due to the fire at Kronospan. I would also like to thank North Wales Fire & Rescue service for the great work they have done in dealing with the fire.

I had a very helpful meeting with the Town Council in Chirk on Tuesday before returning to Westminster and I am sorry that parliamentary duties today mean that I cannot attend the emergency Chirk Town Council meeting this evening. I am, however, keeping closely in touch with residents who have written to me about the problems and with Chirk Town Council itself.

I am very pleased that Wrexham Council convened a multi-agency meeting yesterday, 15th January, with key partners including North Wales Fire and Rescue, North Wales Police, Natural Resources Wales, Public Health Wales and the North Wales Emergency Planning team. The group has agreed to the deployment of Air Quality monitoring equipment and personnel provided by Natural Resources Wales to Chirk to provide actual air quality monitoring readings.

I am meeting with the Chief Executive of Wrexham Council tomorrow and with Kronospan shortly. I have also been keeping the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP, in touch with developments at Kronospan.

I will be available to meet residents in Chirk from 9am – 5pm on this Saturday, 18th January, at a walk-in surgery in the Parish Hall, Holyhead Road, Chirk LL14 5NA – please email me at simon.baynes.mp@parliament.uk if you would like to attend or come on the day and hopefully you won’t have to wait long.

Looking to the future, I think it is vital that the planned investigation into the causes of the fire is conducted in an open and transparent manner. We also need to continue the multi-agency approach and ensure that there is independent monitoring of noise and environmental emissions. We all want Kronospan to thrive as a business given the many benefits that it brings to Chirk and the surrounding area in terms of jobs, investment and prosperity and this will be best achieved by open and transparent communication between the company and the surrounding community.