Welsh Government on RAAC: “We will have complete picture by 15 September at the latest” on which buildings has problematic concrete
Welsh Government have give a timeline of how Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) information will be gathered and refined over the next few weeks.
Welsh Government published a list of information showing where each local authority is at with respect of identifying the use of the problematic concrete in buildings.
Flintshire points to a notification in 2019 and say they have 600 properties that are “surveyed/re-surveyed by independent charted surveyors on a rolling programme to ensure the Council is fully compliant with current legislation.
Wrexham Council are conducting surveys, which are due to report back on Wednesday to meet the Welsh Government deadline.
The outcome of the rolling programme of condition surveys on council-owned buildings, is that no RAAC have been reported.” Pembrokeshire, Newport and others are also able to give similar immediate assurances. It is unclear why Wrexham Council could not do this.
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government issued a joint statement on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) present in ‘public estate’ buildings across Wales, “Throughout this week, all local authorities, which have statutory responsibility for maintaining school buildings in Wales, have been reviewing their school estate to identify any areas suspected of containing RAAC.”
“RAAC has been used in public buildings across the UK – this is an issue for all UK governments to manage. We must work collaboratively to ensure the safety of children, school staff and the public. On 4 September, we wrote to the Secretary of State for Education calling on an urgent meeting of the cross-government Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Working Group. We welcome that this group has now met where further evidence was shared.
“We also asked the Department of Education to be provided with the technical assessments related to the information provided to us on Sunday evening, and this has now also been supplied. The Institute for Structural Engineers has confirmed that its guidance is not changing on the basis of the new evidence.”
On further and higher education they say, “Preliminary assessments of the whole estate are being undertaken. Further education estates directors are working to complete assessments of the whole estate and they will provide an updated picture by 15 September, in line with schools. In the meantime, the safety of learners and staff remains paramount.
“We are also working closely with HEFCW and Universities Wales to get a full picture of the impact of RAAC in the higher education sector. Universities will be making assessments, working with the Association of University Estates Directors (AUDE), which is conducting a survey of institutions.”
On the wider public estate they add, “Ystadau Cymru has issued a new survey to identify RAAC in public buildings following the publication of the new information about RAAC in the English school estate from the UK Government’s Department for Education.
“This is a two-stage process – the first stage will be to gather high level summary information from local authorities and other organisations with public property portfolios, so we have a clearer picture of what work has been done and what needs to be done to ensure all of our public estate remains safe. This information will include establishing when RAAC surveys or inspections were last undertaken; results of those surveys and information about the extent and type of properties where RAAC might be or has been found to be present. This information will be available by 15 September.”
“The second stage will take the form of a request for more detailed information on each property where RAAC has been identified or suspected to be present, which will include the property’s use for example offices, theatres, leisure facilities. This information will be available within 28 days. It will then be analysed to determine what work needs to be undertaken.
“We continue to recommend that existing guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers is used to investigate and assess the presence of RAAC in public buildings. Its supplementary guidance, which was published this year, includes advice on assessing risk, remediation and management when RAAC is found to be present.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com