Labour calls on Hammond to fund high rise sprinkler retrofits

The SKWAWKBOX

grenfell burning

Labour is calling on the Philip Hammond to set aside £1 billion in the Budget to fund the retrofitting of sprinklers in all council and housing association tower blocks, starting with blocks that are 30m (ten storeys) or higher. Jeremy Corbyn will launch the campaign in a speech later today.

Although independent research shows that sprinklers extinguish or contain fires in 99 per cent of cases, only 2 per cent of tower blocks have sprinkler systems.

The Government has so far refused to provide funding for councils to retrofit sprinklers following the Grenfell Tower Fire. Two coroners’ reports in 2013 into the high rise fires at Lakanal House and Shirley Towers recommended that sprinklers be fitted into social housing blocks.

Many councils and housing associations lack the funds to retrofit sprinklers, with the Conservatives’ having cut funding for local government by 40 per cent since 2010. A number of local…

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