Welsh Government provide update on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in the Public Estate

Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government and Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language have provided an update on Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in the Public Estate.

The statement reads as follows:

Members will be aware that local authorities and NHS estates staff have been working at pace to carry out assessments of their property portfolios to determine whether any buildings contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). Ministers have provided regular updates about this work.

This work has been prompted by the new risk assessment issued by the UK Government’s Department for Education just before the start of the new school year. To date 174 schools in England have been identified with RAAC.

Last week, we confirmed updates had been received from all 22 local authorities at the end of the first stage of the education RAAC identification process. To date, four schools have been identified with RAAC – two in Anglesey, one in Conwy and one in Denbighshire.

Ysgol David Hughes, in Menai Bridge, reopened to all learners last Friday. Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi is partially open to learners with face-to-face lessons for four school year groups. Structural engineers have been at Ysgol Maes Owen, in Kinmel Bay, this week to carry out a detailed inspection and assessment of the RAAC panels. Work has been carried out at Ysgol Trefnant, in Denbighshire, this week and the school will re-open on Monday.

We would like to place on record our thanks to school and local authority staff for all their hard work in recent weeks.

We have asked local authorities and other public bodies to assess the wider public estate for the presence of RAAC. We have also asked stock holding local authorities about the presence of RAAC in social housing. Registered Social Landlords have been asked to make an assessment of their stock via Community Housing Cymru.

This is a large and complex undertaking involving potentially thousands of buildings across Wales.

Ystadau Cymru, which encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance, issued a new survey to identify RAAC in public buildings following the new information about RAAC in the English school estate.

We are analysing the first stage returns as we receive them. Local authorities have, understandably, prioritised schools and housing and are taking a proportionate and cautious approach towards this issue.

As we continue to build a fuller picture of the presence of RAAC across the wider public estate, we will keep Members updated.

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