Tax bill of pounds 13m for Royal fire alarms

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The Independent Online
TAXPAYERS will be asked to foot the bill for up to pounds 13m for automatic fire alarms to be installed in the Royal Palaces, after an independent report on the fire risks in the aftermath of the blaze at Windsor Castle.

Peter Brooke, Secretary of State for National Heritage, will seek the money from the Treasury's contingency reserve for the fire protection measures to the palaces, after accepting the 19 recommendations in the report by Sir Alan Bailey. 'Both the Hampton Court and Windsor fires have shown that it should have a high priority. It would not in our view be acceptable for installation to be delayed any longer for lack of funds,' the report said.

The most urgent action is being taken at the White Tower, the Norman keep in the Tower of London, where a fire exit staircase is being installed, and at Banqueting House, Whitehall, where a fire screen is to be fitted.

Fire Protection Measures for the Royal Palaces; HMSO, pounds 24.75.