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Andy Burnham: If the government can afford a deal with the DUP, it can afford to make tower blocks safer

The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham says the government, not local authorities and housing associations, should pay for fire safety improvements in tower blocks across England.

Cladding on 11 more high-rise buildings in Manchester have failed fire safety tests, bringing the total in the North West to 28, including blocks in Bootle, Salford and Wythenshawe.

Speaking at a housing conference in Manchester on Tuesday, where he announced a plan to end homelessness in the region within a decade, Mr Burnham said 180 buildings in Greater Manchester had so far been inspected by firefighters to ensure they are safe.

He told our political correspondent Daniel Hewitt that if the Conservative government could find money to make a deal with the DUP and "keep itself in power", it could find the money to ensure residents across England are safe in their homes.

On Monday while answering questions in Parliament over the government's response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Communities secretary Sajid Javid suggested local authorities should use their reserves to pay for improvements to tower blocks, adding that housing associations were responsible for making their buildings fit for habitation.



  1. Tim Scott, ITV News

Parents' anger at plans to cut school crossing patrols

Parents across St Helens say they're worried for their children's safety after proposals to cut funding for crossing guards - or lollipop men and women to many - were announced.

The council say it's because they have to make millions of pounds in savings in the face of what they describe as 'unprecedented financial challenges'.

Tim Scott reports from a school in Rainford, who look set to lose their lollipop lady.

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