Ealing Liberal Democrats has challenged Ealing Council to undertake a full review of all its public buildings over concerns that reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which was found at Ellen Wilkinson School in Acton could be in other buildings.
At a recent full council meeting (19 September 2023), the LibDems blasted both the Conservative Government saying it was a “short-sighted decision to reduce the school rebuilding programme” and Labour-run Ealing Council by claiming that a few months ago the Council said that all schools “were not affected by the concrete issues”.
Ealing LibDems said it is following up on catering at Ellen Wilkinson as its dining room is out of use due to RAAC and is likely to impact students from having a hot meal over the coming months.
Among the public buildings LibDems have asked to be looked at include NHS buildings, Council buildings, courts and community buildings including halls.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball Opposition Spokesperson on Planning, Licensing and Housing said: “Liberal Democrats are calling for an immediate survey of public buildings in Ealing to ensure safety for children and the public. Both the Conservative Government and the local Labour council seem paralysed in reviewing the RAAC situation.”
Councillor Ball added: “When asked about this a few months ago the council lied saying that all schools were not affected by the concrete issues. It is important to know the extent of RAAC across the borough so that appropriate contingency plans can be affected.”
In a response to Councillor Ball, a council spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “The allegation that the council has not been truthful in relation to RAAC in schools in the borough is wholly false and inaccurate. While the council has been supporting Ellen Wilkinson school – the only school directly affected in the borough – it is a foundation school, and therefore the council is not the responsible body.”
The council spokesperson added: “The council has been working with the school consistently, and has been anything but paralysed in response to the RAAC crisis. As outlined in the written question response in March, the school has consistently taken appropriate measures, in line with Department for Education guidance. It was that guidance which suddenly and without warning changed just a few days before the beginning of term, and the school leadership team then worked incredibly hard to keep the school open and continue providing a positive learning environment.
“The council will continue to work closely with the school on the interim works which will enable the safe use of more of the school site.”
Full council meeting 19 September 2023