Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Communities said:
“It is understandable that residents living in Leeds tower blocks will have a range of questions and concerns following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower. We would to like to reassure residents at all our tower blocks that their safety and wellbeing is paramount to us and we have always treated fire prevention as a top priority.
“We are committed to installing sprinklers where they are effective, we are already in the process of retro fitting sprinklers to tower blocks in our estate with five already complete, the sixth is underway and two more are already planned in.
We are initially targeting blocks of flats which are reserved for older residents, who can be more vulnerable in the case of fire and anticipate accelerating this programme. It is important to recognise that these works are complex, disruptive for residents and take time to complete effectively.
“We believe there now needs to be urgent consideration by national government of the need to retrofit sprinklers in all multi storey blocks. This should not be subject to a postcode lottery but based on sound evidence and advice. Practical consideration also needs to be given to the capacity of the industry and the level of resource needed to achieve this on a national level.”
Current government guidance is to consider retro fitting sprinklers to residential tower blocks over 30m high, of which Leeds has around 100.