This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 13/08/2018.
MP calls for Government to pay for sprinklers being installed in thousands of Croydon flats
Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones has called for action to make Croydon homes safe after the Grenfell fire.
A Croydon MP is calling for the Government to pay for sprinklers that are being installed in more than 1000 flats “for the safety of constituents” in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
More than 1,200 Croydon Council flats in the borough were identified as being in need of sprinklers following the disaster which cost 72 lives.
There are fears for the safety of residents in some of Croydon’s tallest tower blocks with concerns fire could put lives at risk.
MP Sarah Jones has accused the government of not following through on plans to make tower blocks safe by providing the cash to fit sprinklers claiming that residents have been “left in the lurch”.
Croydon Council have had to foot the £10 million bill to make tower blocks safe themselves with around 25 of the tallest blocks been singled out for safety improvements.
Mrs Jones has claimed the government is “withholding support” promised to make Croydon homes safe.
The council has had to front the money to install sprinklers in 700 flats so far.
Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central and Shadow Housing Minister, said: “The safety of my constituents is my number one priority.
“I’m so pleased our council has got on with this important job so quickly, despite being left in the lurch by Government over funding.
“It’s unacceptable that more than a year after the Grenfell tragedy, the Government are withholding the support they promised to councils for essential fire safety works.
She added: “Following the Grenfell Tower fire last year the government said it would do whatever it took to make sure we never saw a fire of that nature again.
“The government since then have not helped a single council.”
Croydon Council is installing sprinklers in over 1,250 of its own flats across the borough.
These are in the council’s tallest blocks of 10-12 storeys, plus an eight-storey sheltered block.
Fears for safety in these blocks were raised last year following the fatal tragedy at Grenfell Tower.
Claiming to lack government backing, council member for homes Alison Butler says the authority has had to take matters into its own hands.
She said: “Croydon’s £10m sprinkler programme is making residents in our tallest tower blocks even safer, and we’re over halfway to getting the job done.
“The cost of fire safety upgrades is spiralling for councils nationwide, which is why this intervention from the Shadow Housing Minster is so important, and I look forward to her and colleagues putting pressure on the Government to prevent a funding crisis.”
The Department of Communities and Local Government has been contacted for comment on the calls for support.