Croydon Council in post-Grenfell funding warning to government

Croydon Council are pleading with the government for help with funding post-Grenfell safety renovations.

The south London borough is the first council to retrofit sprinklers since the inferno in the Kensington tower block killed 71 people in June last year.

Croydon Council deputy leader Alison Butler has now written a third letter to housing and planning minister Alok Sharma to ask for assistance with money with the latest requesting a face-to-face meeting.

Ms Butler said in the letter: “Croydon may be the first council to invest in urgent measures post-Grenfell, but we recognise that others have far more homes.

“In London alone, many are also still tackling cladding issues under your department’s instruction. Therefore, the full cost will not become clear for months to come, if not years.

“Without your help to provide extra funding, local authorities like Croydon that take the initiative on post-Grenfell fire safety in both council and private housing face an unprecedented funding gap.”

The works will cost £10 million and with other projects requiring finding, which places a ‘significant long-term financial burden on other ring-fenced council projects’.

Mr Sharma refused Ms Butler’s first two requests for help with the matter, and refused to ease the council’s borrowing powers.

The government’s request for councils to check private blocks adds an increased pressure to the budget.

After the Grenfell tragedy last year, Croydon council announced within a week it would pay for and install sprinklers in individual flats as part of its response.

This initiative began in October with the first of 25 blocks of more than 10 storeys and an eight-storey sheltered block.

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