Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Council to fit sprinklers in 213 tower blocks

Flats in Druids Heath Image copyright Google
Image caption The city has 213 blocks of flats, including towers in Druids Heath

All of Birmingham's 213 tower blocks will have sprinklers fitted in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

City Council leader John Clancy said work would be carried out "as a matter of urgency".

He is setting aside £31m for the retro-fit but is urging the government to set up a fund to help councils across the country pay for the adaptations.

The council will be forced to sell assets if government help is not forthcoming, a statement said.

Councillor Clancy has written to the leaders of Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield councils calling for them to support his campaign.

'National emergency'

"The dreadful events in London have understandably triggered an outburst of public anger and demands that councils need to do far more to protect tenants living in high-rise blocks," he said.

He added: "The government should accept this is a national emergency that fully justifies establishing a fund to allow councils to fit sprinkler systems as a matter of urgency.

"If the government fails to respond appropriately, I believe our tenants would expect work on less important building projects to be delayed so that we can make sure our tower blocks are safer places to live in."

The council said it carried out daily safety inspections at its blocks of flats.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said he could not comment on specifics but said the Prime Minister had said on Thursday that councils can discuss the cost of building modification to mitigate fire risk with them.

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