Chapter Twelve: Recommendations
1. We would be supportive of a decision of North Lanarkshire Council as Education Authority to open the schools, on the basis that North Lanarkshire Council are undertaking (and commencing with a view to completion as soon as possible) full and independently verified remediation of area designated HP50, entailing the removal of the contaminants present there or otherwise render the area safe from the risks from those contaminants.
2. In light of the conclusions in this Report concerning water, because of the work not yet completed to replace the mains water supply pipe within the school and because of the need for public confidence in the water supply, we would be supportive of the decision of North Lanarkshire Council as Education Authority to open the schools on 12 August 2019 on the basis of that further water sampling shall be undertaken to confirm that the water supply is and remains compliant with drinking water quality standards and give confidence in the potable water being used by pupils and staff within the school in accordance with Scottish Water requirements (read with the advice from the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland), consistent with the places and contaminants sampled for and consistent with their methodology:
I. within 14 days of the completion of the replacement of the main pipe within the campus (or within 14 days of today, if later);
II. by the return to school after the October 2019 break; and
III. by the start of term in January 2020.
3. In the event that water sampling results are positive, we recommend that Scottish Water will refer matters to the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (if required by her) in accordance with and consistent with standard procedures.
4. In light of the conclusions in this Report about the methane membrane and the importance of making public more detailed material about the records of previous periodic testing, we recommend that North Lanarkshire Council make publicly available as soon as possible the periodic testing results for the membrane since its installation.
5. In light of the conclusions in this Report concerning the ongoing relationship with parents, unions and staff, we would be supportive of the decision of North Lanarkshire Council as Education Authority to open the schools on 12 August 2019, on the basis of North Lanarkshire Council agreeing to the taking of the following steps:
a) North Lanarkshire Council shall, as early as possible and in conjunction and consultation with parent councils (and others representative of parents), independent experts, unions and staff based on the campus across Buchanan High School, St Ambrose High School and Townhead Community Centre, establish a fully participative Site Recovery Group for the campus involving all key stakeholders to support future confidence in the site.
North Lanarkshire Council through this Group shall adopt a plan including, as a minimum:
I. a commitment to ongoing monitoring in relevant respects such as water, internal and external maintenance and monitoring of the integrity of the gas methane membrane.
II. a commitment to the preparation of relevant site monitoring reports and publication of an annual assessment which is shared with stakeholders.
III. a commitment to take responsive action in consequence of this annual assessment if required in conjunction with the Site Recovery Group
IV. an open channel for concerns to be raised by any stakeholder regarding the well-being of those on the campus.
b) Once established, the Site Recovery Group should explore further the need to assess and manage in-door air quality in relation to temperature, humidity and concentrations of carbon dioxide when the site is in use.