Dundee City Council will assess the cost of installing sprinklers in Dundee’s multis following pressure from opposition councillors.
Lochee Labour councillor Michael Marra and West End Lib Dem rep Fraser Macpherson successfully put forward motions challenging the council’s current stance on fire suppression.
Mr Macpherson said fitting sprinklers to new-build flats, but not older multis, was a “hard sell” for those living in the towers.
“We should be looking at this issue as a matter of urgency – and we need clear guidance from the Scottish Government,” he said.
Mr Marra said council officers had shown a “lack of clarity” in their latest report, which makes no commitment to installing sprinklers in older multis.
Officers say there is no obligation to install them, and claim doing so would be difficult.
Mr Marra said: “The fire in Perth which left 14 people in hospital is a stark reminder of how close to home these circumstances can be.
“We need to make sure we give people reassurances that their houses are safe.”
Their submissions, accepted by the neighbourhood services committee, mean the council will now write to the Scottish Government calling for guidelines on sprinklers to be issued “without delay”.
Council officers have also been tasked with costing out the installation of sprinklers and their on-going maintenance at the city’s multis – seen as a vital step in preventing a Grenfell-style disaster.
Moyra Samuels, a founding member of the Justice4Grenfell pressure group, was among the harshest critics of perceived inaction by the council.
Today, she welcomed the actions taken by the Labour and Lib Dem councillors to keep sprinklers on the agenda – but called on the local authority to step up its plans.
“I think that it’s good that the council will now consider this and I hope they will take it seriously,” she said. “We need them to act with more determination. These buildings need to be retrofitted, otherwise it will just leave whole tranches of communities vulnerable.
“Grenfell has made a dramatic difference to how people think about their own safety.
“We should not underestimate the impact this has on people’s mental health. People should feel they can go to bed and wake up alive the next day.
“As we come up to two years since Grenfell, communities are anxious to see that the loss of 72 lives has not been in vain.”
Councillor Kevin Cordell, neighbourhood services convener, accepted the motions put forward by Mr Macpherson and Mr Marra.
In the days between the councillors submitting their motions and Monday night’s meeting, Mr Cordell said he had already tasked officers with costing out a sprinkler system.
The convener added that he had also written to the Scottish and UK Governments seeking financial aid.
He told the pair: “I have no issue with what you have asked for.
“The safety of our tenants is paramount.”