Jeremy Corbyn ‘will demand £1bn’ for council tower block sprinklers
Jeremy Corbyn is to demand the Government pays £1bn to ensure all council high rises are retrofitted with sprinklers in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, it has been reported.
The Labour leader is set to urge the Chancellor to pledge the cash in next month’s Budget to protect from further disaster, according to the Daily Mirror.
Mr Corbyn will launch a national fire safety campaign and call for all social housing blocks to get sprinklers - starting with those higher than 30 metres, the paper says.
Just 2% of the 4,000 tower blocks in the UK have sprinkler systems despite research showing they can contain or extinguish fires in 99% of cases.
The Government has so far refused to hand councils cash to retrofit their towers.
Mr Corbyn is set to say: “The Grenfell Tower fire was an entirely avoidable human disaster that must not be repeated...
“The Government is failing to learn the lessons from this tragedy. I urge the Chancellor to use the Budget to urgently provide the funds needed to retrofit sprinklers, ensuring people in thousands of tower blocks across our country are living in safety and with peace of mind.”
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “Grenfell was a national disaster which demands a national Government response. Five months on, residents in high rise blocks need to know their homes are safe, yet ministers won’t act.
“The Conservatives have slashed local government funding by 40% since 2010, depriving councils of the funds that they need to make life saving changes.
“Sprinklers save lives, which is why the Government should set aside the money to fit them into tower blocks across the country.”