Government under pressure to fund sprinkler installations
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14 February 2018
The Government has been accused of ignoring pleas for funding to ensure Birmingham's tower blocks are safe, reports Birmingham Live.
Labour MP Jack Dromey says Birmingham City Council is still waiting to receive a reply to letters asking for funding of £19.4 million for sprinkler systems.
He has written to Housing Minister Dominic Raab to warn that Birmingham's council housing tenants will have to foot the bill for fire safety measures if the Government refuses to help.
Birmingham City Council says it is ready to pay £11.6 million towards the £31 million cost of fitting sprinklers to 213 tower blocks.
But it says the rest of the funding must come from the Government.
The alternative would be to borrow the money, and pay it back in years to come from tenants’ rents.
Speaking on June 26 last year, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “If there is an issue with funding for necessary works, we will provide the support.”
But city MPs say the council has been kept waiting.
A spokesperson for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We have made it clear that we will consider financial flexibilities for councils who need to undertake essential fire safety work to make a building safe.”