Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

26/03/08 MP holds emergency talks over Skelmersdale arson attack

Rosie Cooper MP with New Church Farm councillors Barry Nolan and Neil Furey along with representatives from the police, fire service and district council following the emergency meeting over arson attacks in Skelmersdale

WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper today (Friday) held top-level emergency talks over a spate of arson attacks in Skelmersdale.

The Labour MP called a meeting of police, fire, council officials and ward councillors Neil Furey and Barry Nolan, over the situation in New Church Farm, Old Skelmersdale.

It comes after a family, including a pregnant woman and an eight year old girl, had to jump from a first floor flat after arsonists torched their bin cupboard on Windrows in the early hours of Tuesday.

The incident was just the latest in a long line of fires on the estate involving UPVC cladding which was installed on council homes just a few years ago.

Last week, Labour MP publicly challenged West Lancs District Council to take action before someone gets killed.

Rosie has now received assurances from Bob Livermore, the district council’s housing boss, that a range of options are being considered, and that he is preparing an official report which will go before Cabinet on June 17.

The police have also pledged to step up patrols in the area while the Fire Service says it will be targeting the estate to encourage people to take advantage of its free home fire safety checks and smoke alarms.

Rosie said: “I was pleased that everyone attended and made a commitment to work together to tackle this.

“We had a very robust meeting and I made it quite clear that I’m not prepared for someone to be killed before action is taken. It has to be done now.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a question of whether the council is more interested in saving money or people’s lives.

“They’ve known about this problem for years and have just buried their heads in the sand hoping it will go away. But now it is getting serious and the time has now arrived for them to get it sorted once and for all.”

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