In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, in which at least 79 people died, Birmingham City Council is acting to improve fire safety in the 213 blocks of flats that it owns.
City council leader John Clancy said he would find £31m for a retro-fit programme but he is looking to central government to help fund the work. He has also written to the leaders of Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield councils asking for their support in lobbying government to provide assistance to local authorities for their emergency fire protection measures.
Cllr Clancy said: “The government should accept this is a national emergency that fully justifies establishing a fund to allow councils to fit sprinkler systems as a matter of urgency.”
He said that without government support, the city would have to put the brakes on new-build work.
“If the government fails to respond appropriately, I believe our tenants would expect work on less important building projects to be delayed so that we can make sure our tower blocks are safer places to live in,” he said.