In a statement released this afternoon (08/10/18) the council says its aim is to see works begin in summer 2018 on the nine blocks of flats had been frustrated by red tape with the Government refusing to let the local authority lend funds to the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contractor responsible for the blocks.
And the Government also made clear the PFI contractor itself was not eligible to receive support from the £400m national pot set up to help housing associations and councils address the national fire safety crisis.
Deputy City Mayor Councillor John Merry said:
“The Government were washing their hands of the situation. Our PFI partners have worked with us to come up with a solution. I would like to thank them for their hard work and commitment to providing safe homes.
“Our pleas for financial support were repeatedly ignored in the wake of the Grenfell Fire. We were initially told by Government that the council was responsible for funding the works to make the building safe, only to be told in the last few weeks that we could not lend the funds to get works started and that the PFI contractor itself would not qualify for national remediation funding.
“You couldn’t make it up. We remain focused on doing the right thing for residents – which is getting the works done as quickly as possible. We know our local community will be relieved that the PFI contractor, PTOL, have the means to pay for a detailed fire safety programme to keep homes safe and warm.”
ARUP, a leading worldwide fire safety expert, has been commissioned to review the proposed programme.
The council is continuing to work closely with the Pendleton Together Operating Limited who intend confirm a new timetable for all the nine blocks next month.
In the meantime works to Plane Court will continue and fire safety measures will remain in place on all blocks, including the 24/7 fire marshalls.