Works being carried out to equip tower blocks in Croydon with sprinklers are not "essential" according to the government.

Croydon Council had requested funding from the government to help put safety measures into place for the tallest Croydon buildings, but was denied on the grounds that the works were deemed "additional rather than essential."

Councillor Alison slammed the decision.

She saidL “The government said months ago it would fund councils’ safety measures if the fire brigade said they were essential.

"London Fire Brigade have since said sprinklers are a must-have, so I can’t see why the government has yet again refused to help fund Croydon’s sprinkler programme."

A letter sent to council by Minister for Housing and Planning Alok Sharma said it was expected that the buildings' owners fund any safety works.

There were limited circumstances where this restriction could be removed.

"This would be where it is necessary for essential fire safety works required to make a building safe, as advised by local fire services, to be carried out," he said.

"It would also cover cases where the landlord has received professional advice on any essential work to make cladding systems safe, following the conclusion of tests being conducted by the Building Research Establishment.

"Based on the information provided in your correspondence, it would appear that the work you want to carry out to buildings does not meet either of these categories, and the fire safety measures you outline are additional rather than essential."

Despite the lack of funding, the first tower block flat was fitted with sprinklers this week.

“I’m proud to say we’ve started work installing sprinklers for residents in our tower blocks and we will deliver them in all council blocks of 10 or more storeys as promised, despite the impact on council finances," Ms Butler said.

"We will continue to press the government on this issue, as it’s unacceptable they have moved the goalposts.”