Nottingham council writes to Minister

12 January 2018

Nottingham City Council has become the latest local authority to ask the government for help with funding “essential” fire safety works in the wake of Grenfell Tower.

The city has urged the government to either help fund the £8.5m cost of fitting sprinklers in the 13 residential tower blocks it owns, or raise the council’s housing revenue account (HRA) debt cap by the same amount. 

This follows similar calls by Croydon Council earlier this month, who warned the government of the ‘unprecedented’ gap in funding for repairs nationwide.

Cabinet member for housing Jane Urquhart (Lab) wrote to the new housing minister Dominic Raab asking him to honour the chancellor’s commitment in the Budget to help councils access funding for “essential” fire safety work.

Cllr Urquhart said: “The government recognises the life-saving benefits that sprinklers can provide, and has said money will not stand in the way of vital safety work, but has so far turned down our requests for funding.”

The councillor told Mr Raab it was “disappointing” the government continued to deny requests for funding and requested an adjustment to the city’s HRA debt cap “at the very least”.

“We plan to move ahead with our programme of works in early spring and so we are seeking a swift response from government so we are clear on the funding arrangements,” Cllr Urquhart wrote. 

Croydon’s cabinet member for homes Alison Butler (Lab) wrote to Alok Sharma, the previous housing minister. She said: “This issue of fire safety funding will not go away.

“Croydon may be the first council to invest in urgent measures post-Grenfell, but we recognise that others have far more homes.”

Original source

Local Government Chronicle