Thomas Bridge 06 February 2015

Watch: Video reveals fire damage to ‘decimated’ South Oxfordshire offices

A video has revealed the destruction caused to South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse council offices by an alleged arson attack.

Council leaders today conceded there was ‘still a long way to go’ to restore the offices, after fires tore through the building three weeks ago.

Andrew Main, 47, of Roke Marsh, Wallingford, appeared in Oxford Crown Court last week charged with two counts of arson with intent to endanger life and two counts of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The local authorities have now released a video exposing the extensive damage caused to their offices.

At the time of the blaze, eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a car filled with gas canisters driven into the town hall’s planning offices. A total of three local fires were reported in the early hours of 15 January.

Leaders said the planning department’s office was ‘decimated’ by the fire, with a fortnight’s delay currently anticipated for existing applications.

Two thirds of council staff have been working out of temporary offices since the blaze, with the remainder working from home.

Cllr John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: ‘The fact that we were up and running so soon is a result of good business continuity planning mixed with some ingenuity and improvisation. As much as anything else though, it’s down to some serious hard work from our staff who have pulled together and risen to the challenge brilliantly.

‘There’s a long way to go yet, but I’m very happy that the majority of our residents will barely have noticed a blip in the services we’re providing.’

Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, added: ‘We’re really grateful to everybody for their offers of support and practical help, as well as to people for being patient with for the week or so that some of our services were delayed. Thankfully we’ve managed to keep any disruption to a minimum.

‘The most important thing is that nobody with an urgent problem has been made to wait a minute longer than they should.’

Regenerating public realm for climate change image

Regenerating public realm for climate change

The regeneration of White Hart Lane in Tottenham, London has shown has permeable paving and street trees should can help address climate change while delivering SuDS. Chris Hodson reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Technician

Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
£27,514
We are looking to recruit a Senior Technician within the busy Structures team. Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Recuriter: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

Senior Engineer

Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
£36,371
We are looking to recruit a Senior Engineer within the Structures team. Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Recuriter: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council

Business Hub Manager

Sevenoaks District Council
£40,208 - £43,251 (Subject to Job Evaluation)
Later this year Sevenoaks District Council will be launching a new business hub and business support service in Swanley. Swanley, Kent
Recuriter: Sevenoaks District Council

Economic Development & Programmes Manager

Sevenoaks District Council
£52,305 - £55,475 plus car allowance of £2,700
How would you support the economic development of Sevenoaks? Sevenoaks, Kent
Recuriter: Sevenoaks District Council

Head of Digital

Dacorum Borough Council
Up to £70,092.00 per annum (inclusive of London Fringe Weighting)
This is a fantastic time to join Dacorum Borough Council. Dacorum
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.