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Blaze firm Kronospan under fire over £20 offer for cleaning costs

By Dominic Robertson | Chirk | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Kronospan has been criticised for offering £20 for cleaning to residents affected by a week-long fire at its factory in Chirk.

The fire caused smoke to fill the air above Chirk

Representatives of Kronospan have visited homes, particularly in the Lodgevale part of the town, to offer money to pay for cleaning caused after the blaze in January.

Chirk councillor Gareth Baines said they had received complaints about the value of the offer, and the fact that the visits had been unsolicited.

He said: "We started to have calls that a man they had not heard of had started to go door-to-door to make an offer on behalf of Kronospan.

"The offer was £20 for cleaning equipment.

"After the fire a lot of people needed their car valeted and cleaned outside.

"After speaking to Kronospan that has been revised to £120, which is a much more acceptable amount to cover the costs of cleaning.

"There was also a concern that one of the ladies that had telephoned me was quite a young single mother; it was not an arranged visit, it was a man turning up on the doorstep and asking people to sign something or receive nothing."

'Slap in the face'

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He added: "After what they have been through it is quite a slap in the face and there are concerns that they should be turning up by appointment.

"The fire has happened now, complaining about it is not really going to improve things but the company really owes it to the community to get back on an equal and equitable partnership.

"When they offer £20 or have the house filled with smoke for a week, that's not doing anything to improve the relationship between the parties."

Responding to the criticism, Kronospan said it was aware of the concerns about unannounced visits.

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A spokesman said: "Kronospan has already written to all the residents of Chirk to express its regret for the recent incident and is working hard to restore its relationship with individual members of the community.

"And to that extent we have personally had a constructive dialogue with a lot of people who were directly affected by the incident and we are aware of the concerns expressed by a small number of people in relation to unannounced visits.

"Where possible, company officials have had the interaction with residents directly, rather than through an intermediary."

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