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Sunday, September 3, 2023

County has 'no evidence' of buildings at risk from suspect concrete

Denbighshire County Council says it has no evidence to suggest that any of its buildings are at risk from problems associated with the historical use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).

More than 100 schools in England have been told to close areas affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) without safety measures in place.

It follows the collapse of a beam that was previously thought to be safe

In the light of what has happened over the border it Is understood that Denbighshire has received a number of enquiries from schools, governors and elected members seeking assurances that the associated risks to county schools is low.   

It has therefore made a statement on the issue, a copy of which has been seen by llanblogger.

This says: “The issue of RAAC being used in buildings was raised via the Local Government Association in 2019/20. In response to this, Denbighshire County Council instigated a two-phased approach.  

"Phase 1 involved a review of all building stock based on known construction materials and methods used in our buildings from previous surveys, specifications, and surveyor knowledge.  

"Based on this review, the second phase identified buildings with potential RAAC or where there was insufficient information to make a judgement.  

"Following this, surveys of 105 buildings were commissioned in 2021 to establish whether RAAC was present. These detailed surveys were on a range of Council buildings, not just schools. All surveys returned negative results.

"Denbighshire County Council would like to reassure elected members, governors, parents and school staff that it has taken all reasonable steps to ascertain the structural integrity of its buildings and has no evidence to suggest any of its buildings are at risk. The council will work with Welsh Government to instigate surveys of all school buildings if required."

“The work undertaken by the team means that pupils can start the new term as planned, as there is no evidence to suggest any of the buildings are at risk. The Council will, of course, work with Welsh Government to instigate surveys of all school buildings if required.”

Councillor Gill German, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children and Families Services said, “Denbighshire County Council is proud of its continued investment in the education of the County’s young people in partnership with Welsh Government through the 21st Century Schools Programme. 

"Over recent years, over £90 million has been invested in the County’s schools with five brand new school buildings for Rhos Street School and Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin, Ysgol Carreg Emlyn in Clocaenog, Ysgol Llanfair in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Christ the Word Catholic School, Rhyl, and Rhyl High School, while a significant extension was built at Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph and at Bodnant Community School and Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, Cynwyd. 

“In addition, plans are in place to deliver further investments in partnership with the Welsh Government through the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, with proposals being developed for a new facility at Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn, in Denbigh together with further investment at Ysgol Pendref and Denbigh High School in Denbigh and at Ysgol Bryn Collen and Ysgol y Gwernant in Llangollen.” 

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