FIRE safety will become a £1m priority for Swindon Borough Council in the wake of the worst peacetime disaster in recent memory.

The blaze that tore through Grenfell Tower in June focused attention on the need for greater safety standards across country, particularly in social housing and high rise blocks. The renovation of such buildings is also under greater scrutiny than ever.

Up to 80 people are believed to have died as a result of the fire in one of London’s most affluent boroughs.

While it was sparked by a simple fridge fire, it was made tragically more severe by a combination of combustible cladding and other safety oversights which were not given proper consideration during ‘improvement’ works completed in 2016.

In the days and weeks that followed the fire, Swindon Borough Council’s housing team moved quickly to reassure residents in the town’s high rise blocks that their buildings did not feature the sort of aluminium composite panels that are believed to have contributed to the rapid spread at Grenfell Tower.

At a meeting of the full council on July 13, councillors from all parties voted unanimously to request that the cabinet member for housing and public safety, in consultation with the other key services, particularly the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service, bring a report to cabinet about how the installation of sprinklers and other fire safety measures could be incorporated into the refurbishment programme for council-owned tall multi-storey residential buildings.

Next week, the cabinet is expected to approve a package of measures to bring fire safety across the council’s estate up to the highest level.

The work, which is expected to cost £1.06m, includes measures ranging from sprinkler systems, to new fire doors, to more advanced smoke detection system.

A further £90,000 is to be set aside to enable the council to bring in suitably qualified specialists to manage and oversee the introduction of the new fire safety measures.

The biggest single expense will be £525,900 towards specific improvements to the council’s six 10-storey blocks — Milverton Court, Torrington Court and Hatherleigh Court in the Parks and Upavon Court, Cleverton Court and Seagry Court in Penhill.

The tallest building in the town, the iconic David Murray John Tower, will see £150,480 of investment in new fire doors and detectors among other measures. A more comprehensive refurbishment of the DMJ tower is expected in due course and a sprinkler or mist system will be considered when that work is planned.

At George Hall Court, George Hall Court, an eight-storey building in Park South which is home to some residents with special needs, a full sprinkler system worth £255,000 is to be installed.