Sprinkler systems will be installed in all of Manchester’s council-owned high rise buildings – at a cost of around £10.5 million – in response to the Grenfell tragedy
Manchester City Council said it had decided to fit sprinklers in its 36 tower blocks following the completion of ‘high level’ fire risk assessments. The local authority had already carried out basic safety procedures immediately after the west London fire.
However, the authority said the council-funded measures would have an ‘unavoidable knock-on effect’ on works planned for its other properties. The AJ understands the council will also request central government funding in order to subsidise the works.
Manchester City Council deputy leader Bernard Priest said: ‘We believe that we should retrofit sprinkler systems in our high-rise properties, but it is important that we do this in conversation with our residents – and funding the works will need to be in conversation with government for their support.’
He added that it was ‘vital’ for there to be a review into the enforcement powers of councils and the fire service, so as to ‘ensure the legislation is in place to fully protect residents’. The council said that there was a ‘lack of clarity’ within the current legislation concerning the Fire Safety Orders and Housing Acts.
The council has also written to every owner or building manager of the 216 privately-owned high rises identified in the city, to establish whether the cladding or other building materials used present potential dangers.
It said the owners of 12 private buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding had responded and begun ’actioned remedial works or commissioned fire risk assessments’ to reassure residents.
This information, said the council, would be used to build a ‘detailed database’, which is being shared with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of a ‘national picture’.
The first procedural hearing for the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry concluded today in Holborn Bars, central London.