Salisbury declared decontaminated

Salisbury has been declared free from the nerve agent Novichok almost a year after the Skripal poisoning.

Alistair Cunningham, chair of the South Wiltshire recovery coordinating group, said:

“Today marks a significant milestone in the clean-up programme further to the unprecedented events of the last 12 months.

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced completion of clean-up work at the final site at Christie Miller Road. This means that all 12 sites affected by last year’s attacks have now been handed back to the South Wiltshire Recovery Co-ordinating Group.

“This is a significant moment for Salisbury, Amesbury and South Wiltshire as this property is the final site to be completed as part of the complex and extensive clean-up operation. South Wiltshire can now look forward as the short-term recovery work has been completed.

“Wiltshire Council will shortly begin work to renovate and refurbish the house, so it can return to being a home again. We are continuing to talk to the residents on the future of the property as it is important their views are taken into account on how it is used in the future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Christie Miller Road, and the wider community, for their resilience and stoicism during what has been an extremely difficult and challenging time. Since March 2018, we have been working closely to support residents and we will continue to do so for as long as that support is required.

“I would also like to thank our partners for their skills and expertise and the diligence they have shown in dealing with this unprecedented situation. This operation has been a shining example of partnership working in extremely testing circumstances.

“Salisbury has proved it is resilient, positive and looking forward. The council is working with local and national partners on a range of projects and events to focus on an even better future for the city and south Wiltshire. We especially look forward to celebrating the role of our military and other partners when we host Armed Forces Day National Event in Salisbury in late June which will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase everything the city and surrounding areas have to offer.

“Finally, I would like to add that as we approach one year on from the incident, the thoughts of Wiltshire Council and all those who have been involved in this incident continue to be with everyone who was affected by what happened in Salisbury and Amesbury.”