Trust to support fire victims up and running

The fire in Market Hill, Sudbury, September 6. ANL-151021-113841001
The fire in Market Hill, Sudbury, September 6. ANL-151021-113841001

A trust set up to distribute monies following the devastating fire in Sudbury town centre in September is now up and running.

Yesterday a Babergh spokeswoman confirmed all the deeds for the Sudbury Fire Aid and Recovery Trust had now been signed.

“In the next couple of days we will be contacting residents and businesses affected,” she said.

There have been issues raised with how long it has taken for the funds, which total almost £15,000, to be handed out to those people affected - the fire leaving 20 people homeless and forcing the closure or relocation of several businesses.

In October Peter Gavin Eidsgard, who was made homeless by the fire, told the Free Press of his disappointment that so little of the money donated had been handed out.

This week Bob Darvell, a former Sudbury resident who now lives in France, also spoke of his frustration.

Mr Darvell, who helped to organise a fundraising concert in Lavenham, said: “A great many people gave their time free of any charge, Robbie Gladwell and his band, their equipment, and their technical assistants, bar staff, helpers, and of course the good people of Sudbury who gave their money so freely.

“I flew back from my home in France to be there on the night.

“I find it not only disappointing but almost insulting to all these good people who were involved.

“Quite simply, that is not good enough from a public service.”

Sudbury Town Council clerk Jacqui Howells has said the delay was because of the complicated process in setting up the trust and finding appropriate trustees.

Despite the delay Jodie Budd, customer services advisor at the town council, said she was proud of the efforts of the town to help those in need after the fire.

“To think that people that people really rallied together, holding concerts and different events to raise £15,000 is brilliant.”

She said that the public’s concern over ensuring the money was distributed to the residents as quickly as possible showed how much the community cared.

“Without a doubt, everybody has really rallied round.”