Biggest council landlord warns of possible repair cutbacks

The country’s biggest local authority landlord has warned that an estimated £93 million bill for fire safety works will force it to cut spending on repairs and maintenance work to its housing stock.

Birmingham City Council owns around 62,000 homes, including 213 high-rise tower blocks. None of them are covered in Grenfell-style ACM cladding.

But as a result of the Hackitt Review and the publication of Advice Note 14, the council said it is potentially looking at spending huge sums on a variety of fire safety measures, including £31m on water sprinklers, £28m on replacement balcony and window infill sections and £34m on fire doors.

Repeated requests have been made by the council to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Treasury asking for money to help with the cost of fire safety works, but to date Ministers had failed to respond positively.

Sharon Thompson, the city’s cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods said,

“We simply cannot afford to continue to put in place adequate safety measures and maintain current levels of necessary repairs. We need support from Government.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor