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Grenfell: London councils spend £100m on safety work

FIRE SAFETY: London Councils have spent almost £100 million on preventative measures

A NUMBER of London councils have spent almost £100 million on introducing fire safety measures ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Croydon Council is one of several councils that says it has had to postpone other updates to properties in order to foot the bill for the necessary work.

The council says that due to a lack of government funding it has had to halt refurbishments to fund the installation of sprinklers in high rise blocks.

Nick Hurd, the police and fire service minister, said: "I imagine for most tenants, if asked what their primary concern was, it would be safety and wanting to feel secure in their homes, and that's the primary responsibility of the landlord which they've got to step up to."

Croydon Council cabinet member for housing, Alison Butler, said: "We are funding this £10m in sprinkler work, because we are determined to do that, but that does mean that other things we hope to do, to keep our flats decent, will have to suffer and wait in the long term."

The figure of almost £100 million was revealed to the BBC as part of the response to freedom of information requests.

The amount relates to 24 boroughs and covers the cost of cladding removal, “waking watches” – dedicated patrols around buildings discovered to have a fire risk, safety surveys and various other safety measures.

Despite the implementation of new safety procedures and tools, some boroughs are still identifying new safety concerns.

The agency responsible for social housing for Barnet council found that more and 1,000 fire doors fitted in flats need to be replaced as they do not provide a good enough resistance to fire.

Enfield and Brent councils have both had applications for government funding to fit sprinklers rejected.

Only work relating to cladding removement and replacement will be funded by the government.

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