THE political lead on housing at BCP Council admitted "you cannot put a price on safety" after £3.8million was allocated to carry out recladding work on two tower blocks in Poole.

Councillor Bob Lawton said he would never forgive himself if any incident occurred across the conurbation which cost people's lives.

BCP Council's cabinet members gave the green light for the removal and replacement scheme to go ahead at Sterte Court.

The two blocks were reclad in 2013 and 2014 but “failings” in the work has meant it needs replacing.

It had originally been estimated the project would cost between £1.5 million and £2 million, however, this cost shot up.

An allocation for the work will be set aside initially from the council's Housing Revenue Account (HRA), but a bid will be made to the government to try to obtain a grant.

Addressing cabinet during a meeting on Wednesday, November 11, former housing portfolio holder and independent councillor Kieron Wilson said: "Whilst just under £4million coming from the HRA is a lot of money, resident safety really doesn't have a price.

"Just to put a bit of context in terms of the rest of the country, it was reported in Inside Housing recently that an estimated £1.2billion was going to be spent on fire safety by the largest housing associations over the next five years, so this is something we should be doing."

Current housing portfolio holder Cllr Lawton thanked his predecessor for his supportive comments and echoed the importance of the work.

Cllr Lawton said: "You cannot put a price on safety and I would never forgive myself, and I am sure he (Cllr Wilson) would be of a similar vein that we would never be able to live with ourselves if any incident occurred which cost people's lives."

A report presented to cabinet said a complete redevelopment of the two blocks had been considered but was ruled out due to concerns about the cost and that it would be unlikely to lead to more flats being built on the site.

Should the contract for the cladding be awarded to United Living, as the cabinet report recommended, work could start as soon as January.