‘Frustration’ Continues over Asbestos in Wales schools


Cwmcarn High School has been closed for nearly 8 months now following a report which revealed asbestos - a potential health risk to its 900 pupils.

Asbestos Removal

£1million to remove asbestos

Slow progress has been blamed on Caerphilly Borough Council introducing heavy burdensome terms and conditions. However, the council in turn blames the delay on decision-makers at the school.

Whilst decisions have been in the pipeline the children who normally attend the school are being taught 12 miles away in Ebbw Vale. This change has prompted protests from disgruntled parents.

At a recent meeting, councillors approved plans to spend £1million on removing the asbestos and placing temporary classrooms on site. Negotiations have twice broken down between councillors and governors due to hurdles being put in the way.

Contractors have given assurances to the local authority that the school would re-open in time for the start of the school year in September 2013.

After pinning the price down to £1million, Caerphilly council have now asked the Welsh government to step in and fill the gap as the cost of repairs could reach up to £1.5million.

Rising costs for asbestos in Wales schools

Rhiannon Passmore, the council’s cabinet member for education, said she wanted the matter resolved "as a matter of urgency" after hundreds of people marched calling for the school to be re-opened.

The rise in costs is probably due to the extensive structural work needing to be done to the school, and some fear that even £1.5million may not be enough.

Meanwhile, Welsh government has claimed that it is not their responsibility to fund the removal of asbestos but that of the local authority.

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