Scottish ministers have been conscious of the dangers of collapse-prone concrete since final summer time, Shirley-Anne Somerville mentioned as she pledged to be “open” with the general public on issues.
The Social Justice Secretary confirmed officers from the Scottish Authorities had been speaking with native authorities since “method again in July 2022” to share info on bolstered autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac).
It comes as a freedom of data request reveals a doc ready by the Scottish Hearth and Rescue Service warning of potential “structural collapse” of hospitals, the “prevalence of asbestos in buildings of this age” and the “unknown efficiency” of the fabric in a fireplace.
Ms Somerville mentioned the concrete has been detected in 37 faculties in Scotland, nevertheless the impacted faculties aren’t anticipated to shut whereas a “desk-based overview” is performed over the approaching months.
However 104 faculties south of the border have been partially or totally closed following issues in regards to the materials.
Addressing MSPs in Holyrood throughout topical questions on Tuesday, Ms Somerville mentioned: “This has after all been a problem that the federal government has been conscious of for a while, and that’s why motion has been taken, and has been for a while, for instance method again in July 2022 Scottish Authorities officers made contact with the Scottish heads of Property Companies and administrators of training in Scotland to share info on Raac.”
The Social Justice Secretary additionally moved to reassure pupils, dad and mom and academics of the place the concrete has been found, including: “I can utterly recognize why there’s public concern on this, significantly given the way in which that bulletins have been dealt with down in England.
“However I can reassure the member that we recognize that public concern means we should be as open as attainable, as we might be, for this as a result of dad and mom and employees are involved about this problem.”
Emails launched beneath freedom of data present an unnamed Scottish Authorities official asking members of Falkirk and Fife councils if “there was any work accomplished to determine faculties with Raac in Scotland?”
The official from Fife responded that West Lothian Council had been coping with points referring to Raac, whereas the Falkirk-based member of employees mentioned they’d by no means heard of the concrete.
Later within the chain, a briefing from West Lothian Council by the authority’s head of finance and property providers, which was put earlier than a gathering in June 2021, was connected.
The briefing mentioned 9 buildings inside the council space had been discovered to comprise Raac, together with 4 main faculties, a secondary faculty and 4 group centres.
On the time of the assembly, remedial work was undertaken on six of the properties, whereas three others had been receiving inspections each six months with consideration of works to be made.
In response to Ms Somerville, Scottish Liberal Democrat chief Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP known as for a central register of affected buildings.
He mentioned: “Months after I took this problem to the very prime of the Scottish Authorities, there’s nonetheless no central register of affected buildings, no technique for the swift and wholesale alternative of this doubtlessly lethal concrete and no nationwide fund for cash-strapped faculties, well being boards and others landed with it.
“Mitigation and monitoring affords little reassurance when a concrete beam that was marked as secure collapsed, prompting the closure of faculties throughout England.
“Can the Cupboard Secretary say with confidence immediately that pupils, sufferers and employees don’t have Raac within the ceilings above them? And is it attainable there are lecture rooms and wards with drawback concrete nonetheless in use proper now?”