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County councillors to visit Lechlade following fires


County councillors Ray Theodoulou and Nigel Moor will be visiting Lechlade Memorial Hall this afternoon (4:30pm), alongside representatives from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS).

This follows a recent spate of deliberate fires in the town, which has seen the main building of the Memorial Hall destroyed on May 9th as well as Sunday's most recent incident where the Pavillion at the Memorial Hall was also damaged.

Other fires at the New Inn Hotel and in a bin store on Cuthwine Place are also being treated as arson by Gloucestershire Police, with the incidents believed to be linked.

Both GFRS and the police have been carrying out additional visibility work in Lechlade since the first fire, which has had a major impact on the local community.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader of Gloucestershire County Council and county councillor for Lechlade, said: "The whole town is in shock as a result of these mindless acts. The Memorial Hall is at the heart of the community, and is used by many of our local groups who now have nowhere to go.

"If anyone has any information, please get in touch with the police. This has to stop!"

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for fire, said: "By starting these fires deliberately, those responsible are putting the lives of local residents and our fire crews at risk.

"Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be out in the community to reassure residents, and are working closely with the police to help with their investigations to hold those responsible to account."

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "These crimes are not only extremely dangerous and irresponsible, but they also needlessly cost the fire crews valuable time and resources.

"It should have to go without saying that setting fire to anything is highly unsafe and illegal, we'd ask people to come forward with any information that may help the police in their investigations."

If you have any information, please contact the police on 101 quoting incident 14 of Thursday 2 June and 101 of Sunday 5 June.

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