1. ITV Report

'Our town looks like a war zone'

Local people have told ITV News Tyne Tees that their town "looks like a war zone", four months after a fire wrecked the entrance to the high street.

Cafe-goers in Stanley say that the destroyed property near Front Street is 'an eyesore' that needs dealing with.

The buildings were burned through after a fire erupted in a takeaway four months ago.

Joanne Waller, Head of Environment, Health and Consumer protection with Durham County Council, said: “We have met with the owner to discuss his intention for the site and will take appropriate action to ensure the area is suitably cleared.”

But in Roma Cafe, regular visitor Sheila said: "It used to be a nice place. Nice shops and everything. Now it's like a war zone."

Other residents pointed to the burned out buildings on Front Street, also destroyed after a second fire in the town broke out in December.

Oliver Sherratt, head of Direct Services, said: "We are working closely with various agencies, including Stanley Town Council, Durham Constabulary and Durham And Darlington Fire and Rescue, to help the long term recovery of Stanley following the recent fires."Various measures are already in place including support for businesses, improvement to the town centre, increased neighbourhood warden patrols as well as working within the legal framework to address the fire affected areas as quickly as possible with the landowners involved."