Post-Grenfell spending on the rise

13 December 2017

The cost of fire safety measures which councils and housing associations plan to introduce to high-rise buildings after the Grenfell tragedy has now reached at least £600m, with costs expected to rise further.

Research from the BBC revealed the shocking cost, and the report also sheds light on the argument raging over who should pay for the work.

The government says it will foot the bill for "essential" safety measures, but some councils and housing associations say there is confusion over who is liable.

Even before updated building regulations and fire safety rules are introduced following an official review, the cost of emergency checks, fire wardens, repairs and safety improvements is likely to be well over £1bn, says the BBC.

Tests revealed that more than 70 blocks in Greater Manchester had unsafe cladding, but in a number of buildings, removal work has stopped because the authorities say they don't know what to put in its place.

At some towers, flammable tiles have only been partially removed, with fire wardens patrolling day and night until there is clarity on what steps to take.

Government ministers have said "building owners are responsible for funding measures designed to make a building safe," but that councils which have concerns about the cost of "essential fire safety measures" should contact the communities department.

With the government's Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety not due to publish its final report until spring 2018, many housing providers across the UK are reluctant to commit to safety improvements until the post-Grenfell rules are clear.

Original source