• Moss bank fire

    On Wednesday night a devastating fire completely destroyed a parade of shops including the Post Office at Wythburn Crescent in Moss Bank. These businesses were a real community hub, providing essential services to local residents.

    Along with the Cllr Derek Long, the Leader of St Helens Council, I called an emergency site meeting with councillors, Torus Housing, the police and local residents and employees of the affected businesses to talk about the impact the fire has had on the community and how – working together – we will support local residents, the shop owners and the 30 staff employed at the site in the weeks and months ahead.

    I was struck by the determination shown by residents to pull together and support those most affected. It is a tight-knit community and the shops were an important part of it, particularly for the many older people who live in the area. Making sure they are up and running again as soon as possible is vital.

    Torus have confirmed to me that the buildings will need to be demolished. I have asked for this to be done urgently and for extra police resources to be put in the community to prevent any vandalism and for the site to be properly secured. I have also contacted the Post Office seeking assurances that facilities in the area – at least a mobile post office until we are able to reopen a permanent one – will be available as soon as possible.

    I will also want a clear plan from Torus – the owner of the building – about the plans and timescale for the rebuild. Residents groups working with local councillors will also be organising a meeting with further information in due course. In the meantime, residents and anyone affected by the fire can contact my office and we will do our best to help provide any information we have or help we can give.