Nottingham City Council’s opposition group has added its support to calls for the Government to provide funding for essential fire safety work on high rise blocks in the city.
The Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Andrew Rule, has written a joint letter with Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, Councillor Jane Urquhart, to the Housing Minister Dominic Raab.
Councillor Urquhart has written repeatedly to Government ministers to ask for the financial support that the Government promised would be made available following the Grenfell fire – but none has so far been forthcoming.
After Grenfell, a fire safety audit carried out with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue identified the need for sprinklers, tannoys and intercoms to be installed or upgraded in all 13 of the council’s residential high rise blocks, at a cost of £8.5m. The council has now told Nottingham City Homes to go ahead with the safety work but is continuing to seek the Government’s financial backing.
In the latest approach, Cllr Rule states: “Following the Grenfell tragedy, and since then, the Government has made assurances that money would not prevent these works from happening. Whilst I acknowledge that the Government is facing difficult budget decisions, the same is true for councils. We must collectively put residents’ safety ahead of money.
“I therefore urge you to reconsider Cllr Urquhart’s request to fund these fire safety works. At the very least, I hope you will look favourably on her request to lift the HRA borrowing cap by £8.5m and provide an annual subsidy to cover the additional £8.5m we have to borrow for these works.“
Councillor Urquhart added: “We took the Government at their word when they said they would not let financial constraints get in the way of essential safety work following the Grenfell fire. We place our residents’ safety as a top priority and so we are pressing ahead with these vital works, and I’m grateful for Councillor Rule’s support in continuing to push the Government to release the funding it promised.”