Stoke & Staffordshire

Sprinkler plan for tower blocks in Stoke-on-Trent

Bucknall New Road tower block Image copyright Google
Image caption The work is part of the council's 30-year plan to ensure its housing is fit for purpose for the future

Sprinklers are to be fitted in all 16 council tower blocks in Stoke-on-Trent.

The authority said the project had been planned since January but the Grenfell Tower fire last week which killed at least 79 people had given the plans more significance.

There will be improvements to fire alarms and CCTV will also be installed.

Councillor Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said weekly fire checks at council properties will be doubled.

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Many people were left homeless after the fire engulfed the North Kensington tower last Wednesday. A sprinkler system had not been fitted inside the building.

Regulations in England mean that only buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m are required to have sprinklers fitted.

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has now resigned amid criticism over the borough's response.

Mr Conteh said all authority-owned buildings were compliant with current fire and safety regulations.

A 30-year plan has been announced to ensure all properties are "fully safety compliant, exceed fire regulations and provide quality accommodation for residents".

"It's extremely positive to be able to make this announcement to benefit tenants in Stoke-on-Trent," he said.

"It's sadly all the more poignant to be able to make it at this point in time, when sensitivities are clearly heightened by the tragic events in London and tenants are rightly seeking reassurances."

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