Manchester

Cladding removal to cost Salford City Council up to £25m

Beech Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Beech Court is one of nine Salford blocks that will have cladding removed

The replacement of cladding on a number of Salford's tower blocks is to cost the city's council up to £25m.

The council is the freehold owner of nine blocks which failed safety tests following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Deputy city mayor John Merry said the authority would borrow temporary funds to remove aluminium composite material cladding and do other fire safety work.

The work will be carried out despite the council's dispute with a property management company over who should pay.

Nine blocks - Whitebeam Court, Malus Court, Beech Court, Salix Court, Spruce Court, Holm Court, Hornbeam Court, Thorn Court and Plane Court - will be refurbished.

'Essential works'

Recent work on the flats, completed earlier in 2017, was done under a private finance initiative contract between the council and property management company Pendleton Together Operating (PTO).

As a result, both parties have disputed which of them should fund the new work.

However, Mr Merry said the council "do believe that it is crucial that legal disputes do not prevent essential works being carried out".

He added that the move did not mean the council was not accepting liability.

A PTO spokesman said it had "yet to be established who will be responsible for funding the refurbishment works, although the work will go ahead, because our priority remains ensuring the safety of our residents".

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said the government had been "clear to councils and housing associations that we expect them to do whatever local fire services and experts say is necessary to make residential buildings safe".

The proposal to borrow the money will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday.

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