A London council has announced it will spend an extra £10 million on fire safety improvements in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Councillors in Brent voted to finance sprinklers, smoke detectors and fire alarms for high-rise blocks across the borough.
Other measures to boost safety for almost 10,000 council tenants and 3,000 leaseholders in north-west London include fire doors, lighting, signs and fire detection systems. Brent, which borders Kensington and Chelsea where the Grenfell disaster took place on June 14, has 37 tower blocks. None of these was found to be covered in dangerous cladding that was thought to have caused the Grenfell fire to spread so rapidly. Worried residents across London have been demanding reassurance and action following the blaze, which claimed about 80 lives.
Labour-run Brent’s move puts it among just a handful of councils in the capital that have already revealed plans for a major roll-out of fire safety since the disaster. Council leader Muhammed Butt said: “Grenfell changed everything. When it comes to fire safety, ‘good enough’ is no longer good enough. Here in Brent we have 37 high-rise blocks and they’re all fire risk compliant. But we also have lots of people asking whether those rules and regulations are actually up to standard, and who can blame them?
“So we’ve found the money to go above and beyond what’s required, to ensure that residents are safe — and feel safe — in their homes.”
Mr Butt called on the Government to “step up” and cover the cost of the improvements, which will be paid for in the first instance through extra borrowing. While no council block in Brent was found to be clad in aluminium composite material, the subject of recent tests, a number of new-builds run by registered providers were.
The London Fire Brigade has visited these blocks and advised that evacuation is not necessary due to other fire safety measures in place.