'We can't afford to reclad our tower blocks' - Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore calls on Government to stump up cash for cladding

Julie Dore and Hanover tower block
Julie Dore and Hanover tower block

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore has said money will have to be taken from other projects if the authority is forced to reclad its tower blocks.

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore has said money will have to be taken from other projects if the authority is forced to reclad its tower blocks.

The news comes after the cladding on Hanover tower in Exeter Drive, Broomhall, failed a fire safety test in the wake of the Grenfell fire on June 14.

The cladding which the council thought was present at Hanover wasn't the same material when it went for testing.

Ms Dore said councils, like Sheffield, has been 'starved' of funds and added there was 'no way' the council could afford to reclad the city's high-rise blocks on its own.

The council leader also took aim at Prime Minister Theresa May for 'finding £1bn for Northern Ireland' to 'buy 10 votes' and said the Government 'should pay' for any work that needs doing.

She added councils would be forced to make cuts to their schools and infrastructure budgets.

Ms Dore, speaking to the Daily Express, said: “Local authorities have been starved of money over the past seven years. Our spending power has decreased.

“There is no way we can afford to reclad our tower blocks. If we have to find that money, it will come from other projects, from investing in the fabric of our schools, capital investment in our infrastructure, the money has to come out of that. And it can’t really be done.

“I say absolutely, categorically that the Government should pay. If they can find £1billion to send to Northern Ireland, that gets more spending per capita than anywhere else, to buy 10 votes, then these people, living in high-rise towers, deserve better.”

Workmen began to remove and replace the cladding on Hanover tower yesterday following the news it wasn't up to scratch.

The council, along with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, say the block is safe for residents while the work is being carried out by alternative accommodation is available for people if they feel they need it.

The Star has contacted Sheffield Council to speak to director of housing Janet Sharpe. We're awaiting their response.