London councils plan £380m fire safety spend

Research by BBC Radio London has found that London councils are expecting to spend approximately £383 million to make social housing safer following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Of the planned spending, Southwark is expecting to spend £162 million, having spent £62 million to date with further plans for another £100 million if sprinklers are retrofitted.

Wandsworth is planning to retrofit sprinklers in all 99 of its council blocks - which along with removing cladding, will cost it about £30 million.

Malcolm Grimston, an independent councillor in Wandsworth, said: "It seems to me entirely unfair that that amount of money is coming out of the repair fund. We have a big problem with damp in our council flats. There are many of them that haven't had kitchens replaced for 30 or 40 years. This is a vast amount of money which could do an enormous amount of good and it seems to me only fair that rather than the tenants having to pay that, that money should come from general taxation."

Of 33 London boroughs contacted following the disaster in June, 26 responded with estimated costings, with four boroughs claiming that it was too early to know how much they would be spending. Two had no council housing to comment on, while the final council was the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - the council where the Grenfell Tower stood - who did not respond to BBC Radio London's research request.

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