TENANT SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY SAYS SOUTHAMPTON LABOUR PARTY
On the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy (June 14), Southampton Labour Party is providing reassurance to council tenants that their safety remains the top priority.
Labour-run Southampton City Council is currently spearheading a citywide project to install sprinklers in its high rise blocks. It pledged to carry out works ahead of the Grenfell tragedy last year, and was one of the first cities to commit to installing sprinklers in all of its high rise flats.
The first three blocks – Albion Towers, Sturminster House and Shirley Towers – are already complete with contractors on site at eight further blocks with more to follow in the coming months.
However, funding the works, along with other measures such as new fire doors, will cost in the region of £15m. Money which is hard to find when Government has capped how much councils can borrow for housing, and ordered them to reduce rents.
Cllr Warwick Payne, Southampton City Council cabinet member for housing and adult care said: “The safety of our tenants is the top priority which is why we committed to sprinkler works even before the Grenfell tragedy, but these works cost millions and that prevents us modernising as many homes as we’d like to revamp and also reduces the number of new ones we can build.
“If Government wants councils to build more homes, our message would be ‘please help with the cost of fire safety works and you’ll get safer homes, and new ones too’. We are prioritising tenants’ safety, but that makes it harder to deliver everything else, and we are calling on Government to help with what still remains a national housing crisis.”