- 12 Jun 2019
The Scottish Government, following consultation with North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire, have asked Paul Cackette, the Scottish Government Chief Planning Reporter and Dr Margaret Hannah, a former Director of Public Health to undertake an independent and impartial review of the evidence in relation to the reported health and safety concerns at Buchanan and St Ambrose High School campus including the history and construction and maintenance of this site. The primary purpose of the review will be to provide further reassurance to the local community. This will include:
1. As a priority, a review of the public health measures taken and conclusions drawn by NHS Lanarkshire in relation to the health concerns expressed by the school and local communities. The review will address specific health concerns that have been raised including:
- Possible exposure to unspecified chemicals resulting from previous land use now at the new school site;
- Attending the school and acquiring cancer, specifically bladder cancer;
- The presence of copper in the drinking water supply; and
- Attendance at the school and the acquisition and impact of elevated blood levels of arsenic.
2. Assessing the information provided on public health related concerns raised by parents, pupils, school staff and the local community;
3. Reviewing the risk assessment made and validation of works undertaken across the site to assess whether all activity was carried out in accordance with appropriate Regulations and best practice to mitigate against any risk to public health. This review would be carried out by a party independent of the original works and with input from all other agencies involved.
On the basis of the assessment of the evidence outlined above, the Review will determine whether additional evidence or action is required in order to provide such further reassurance to the local community.
This review will be independent. This process has the full support of both the North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire who recognise everything possible must be done to address the concerns which have been raised locally.
Led by the Scottish Government Chief Planning Reporter and a specialist in public health, it will be for these experts to assess exactly how long their work requires but we expect their findings as soon as practicable and before the start of the next academic year.
Paul Cackette was appointed as Chief Planning Reporter in August 2016. Most recently, from May 2018 to June 2019, he was Director of Legal Services, the most senior lawyer in the government legal service in Scotland. He joined the Scottish Government in November 1988 and was appointed to the senior civil service in 2000. Paul studied Law at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Margaret Hannah is currently the Director of Health Programmes for the International Futures Forum. From 2016 to 2018 she was Director of Public Health in NHS Fife, with responsibility for Health protection and health improvement for the region. She trained as a doctor and is a graduate of Cambridge University, with specialist public health training in Hong Kong and London. She has lived and worked in Scotland since 1996.