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Beechmere fire resident donations delayed by council error

The remains of the Beechmere complex following the fire Image copyright Cheshire East Fire Service
Image caption Crewe Town Council said each resident would receive an equal share of money donated

A payout for residents who lost their retirement homes in a fire was delayed for two months due to a council error.

About £58,000 was raised for 130 residents of the Beechmere complex, Crewe, which was devastated by fire.

A motion to approve the distribution of the funds should have been made in September but was missed off an agenda, Crewe Town Council said.

The meeting was finally held on Tuesday and residents will receive about £450 each, but it is not known when.

Claire Bagnall, whose 86-year old mother Norma lived in a block destroyed by the blaze in August, called the procedural error "frustrating".

"It was a bit careless that it wasn't listed in the last meeting. It's an exceptional circumstance, it should have been at the top of their agenda to look after these people," she said.

"I think if they could do it before Christmas, people would be really grateful."

Former resident Marleene Williams, who lost "everything" in the fire, said she was pleased to hear the money would be split equally.

"There's some residents that still don't have anything - no furniture, no clothes - so this will come in very useful to try and rebuild their lives. I'd like to thank everybody on behalf of all the residents," she said.

Image copyright Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Fire crews were called to Beechmere residential apartments in Crewe on 8 August

It is not yet known how soon the transfer, which is subject to a legal agreement with landlord Your Housing, will take place.

The council, which is holding the funds, has been buying items for the residents in the interim.

"On 24th September, council met and expressed a clear desire that monies be transferred. Regrettably this desire did not constitute a formal decision as the issue had not been listed... on the agenda," a spokesman added.

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