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06 November 2018
The money that Manchester City Council is to spend on fire safety improvements to social housing across the city will mean that other improvements will have to be delayed.
The £16million of funding to install sprinklers and other work will be diverted from refurbishment plans to pay for new bathrooms and other improvements for tenants of the council and accommodation run by the management organisation, Northwards.
Central government has refused to help the local authority with the costs. In addition to work on bathrooms not going ahead, upgrading to lifts, electrical rewiring and the upgrading of roofs will be delayed.
The installation of sprinklers has been approved by a significant majority of tenants and those who object will not be forced to have them fitted.
Suzanne Richards, Manchester's executive member for housing and regeneration, said, “Since the proposals to install sprinkler systems in council-owned high rise properties were endorsed by members last year we have undertaken consultation with residents."
She continued, “Test flats were set up to show how the system will look once installed and to ensure they understand the benefits and to myth bust some popular misconceptions about building-wide sprinkler systems.
"The installation works will also be scheduled to incorporate other improvement works to Northwards properties to limit disruption as much as possible.
“Taking advice from both government and the fire service, we believe sprinkler systems are an appropriate response to further improve fire safety in council-owned high-rise properties, in conjunction with robust fire assessments.”
Manchester Evening News