Reassurance given on building safety.
Parliament has been provided with an update on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).
Shirley-Anne Somerville reiterated to MSPs that the Scottish Government continues to follow professional advice on RAAC, as it always has done and is working with local authorities and other partners to understand the extent of the issue.
Ministers have been reassured that the current guidance of the Institution of Structural Engineers and risk-based approach remains appropriate.
Addressing parliament, Ms Somerville said:
“The Scottish Government and the wider public sector has already done much to understand the extent of RAAC issues in Scotland, and we recognise there is more to do. Everyone with the responsibility for building safety takes this matter very seriously.
“Local authorities have a clear responsibility to ensure their schools are safe for pupils, staff and all their users. They are carrying out assessments of all their school buildings.
“We are aware that some parts of the school estate in some councils still need to complete full surveys. Ministers have been clear to authorities that these must be carried out as a matter of highest priority.
“Safety is the central consideration and there is robust guidance which is followed by every local authority to ensure these buildings are safe for the pupils, staff and the public to be in.”
COSLA President Shona Morrison said:
“The first point to make is that there are many councils who own no buildings where RAAC is present.
“The safety of everyone in Scotland’s schools and all other council buildings is of paramount importance to councils. We treat the safety of everyone within our facilities extremely seriously. Scottish local authorities are aware of the RAAC issue in buildings across some of their estates and have regular inspections, put in place mitigations as appropriate and closed some buildings where this is required.
“We would stress that some councils have no RAAC affected buildings. We would reiterate that safety is the central consideration and there is robust guidance to ensure these settings are safe for the public to be in.”
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