High Rise Flats: Fire Extinguishers

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Lord Scriven Lord Scriven Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the financial flexibilities that will be granted to local authorities that wish to retrofit sprinklers in tower blocks.

Photo of Lord Scriven Lord Scriven Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria local authorities will have to meet before they can be granted financial flexibilities for the retrofitting of sprinklers in tower blocks.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

If a local authority building owner considers any of their buildings to be unsafe, they will need to determine what measures are essential to make each building fire safe. This will need to be done as part of a whole fire safety strategy for each individual building, taking into account expert advice, any directions or advice from the local fire and rescue service, and other fire safety measures present.

Local authorities should draw on existing resources to implement these measures. However, we will consider the removal of financial restrictions for local authorities where these stand in the way of essential work being done. This would not include general improvements or enhancements to buildings which go beyond works needed to make a building safe.

Where there is a case for financial assistance, we will consider either extending the ability to borrow within the Housing Revenue Account, or possibly a one-off agreement to use general fund money. Any local authority who wishes to discuss their position should contact MHCLG.

In addition to the offer of financial flexibilities for essential fire safety work, Government will fully fund the removal and replacement of dangerous Aluminium Composite Material cladding systems that have failed large scale tests on residential buildings over 18m owned by councils and housing associations, with costs estimated at £400 million.

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