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Government should ensure local authorities undertake full assessment of school asbestos levels - Aled Roberts

December 5, 2012 3:25 PM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education in the National Assembly, will today call on the Education Minister to confirm that the Welsh Government will ensure that local authorities undertake thorough testing for asbestos in schools and that the correct steps are being taken to manage the issue. The recent events in Cwmcarn High School demonstrate a need for comprehensive surveys to guarantee that asbestos in schools is managed responsibly.

Commenting, Aled Roberts said:

"At Education Questions today I will expect the Minister to clarify the full results of the audit announced on 16th October 2012 and to address any concerns which have surfaced.

"I fully support the Right to Know campaign, and call on the government to introduce a national register to ensure transparency and honesty on the issue of asbestos in schools.

"The Education Minister has chosen to ignore calls from Assembly Members and pressure groups for this national register, despite the support from parents, students and staff, and amidst concerns over the levels of asbestos and the health implications this may have.

"Parents, staff and students alike have a right to the information regarding the health and safety of their teaching and learning environments. The issue of child safety is clearly of extreme importance, and we need to understand, as a matter of urgency, the extent of asbestos in schools and what plans local authorities have in place to manage the issue.

"Instead of passing blame to the Local Authorities, the Welsh Labour Government needs to assume responsibility for the situation and work with the local authorities to ensure that the correct steps are in place to thoroughly assess and monitor asbestos levels within Welsh schools"