Salford seeks approval for fire safety loan

Salford City Council is to borrow £25m to fund fire safety works at nine council-owned tower blocks in Pendleton.

A report will go before a special Council meeting on 23 August seeking to authorise the use of the council’s borrowing powers to provide a temporary cash flow of up to £25m to cover the works.

The removal of cladding from the buildings was started shortly after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June.

Deputy city mayor John Merry said: “We will not allow the lack of immediate funding to become a barrier to undertaking further essential fire safety works on the Pendleton tower blocks.

“We are asking for a decision to provide temporary funding so that works can continue to replace the ACM cladding as quickly as possible.

“Everything is being done in the best interest of our residents. The regeneration work has been carried out under a PFI contract and whilst the council is not accepting liability for the works, we do believe that it is crucial that legal disputes do not prevent essential works being carried out.”

City Mayor, Paul Dennett said: “This is not an easy time for local authorities – government cuts have taken a severe toll on council budgets. This will be a strain on our resources but it is important that we respond effectively to address safety issues raised by the Grenfell Tower tragedy and we must do all in our power to ensure that a fire such as this never happens again.

“We are now awaiting the results of independent tests before we move ahead with a permanent replacement to the cladding. At the same time, partners are quantifying total costs by putting together a complete programme of works.”

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