Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

Fears homes have crumbling RAAC concrete as councils issued warnings amid schools and hospitals at crisis | The Sun

TOWN hall chiefs were today instructed to quickly assess their social housing stock, amid fears some buildings could contain killer concrete.

The industry body for structural engineers warned local authorities that RAAC may be present in council homes constructed between the 1950s and 1980s.

In a letter the Institute of Structural Engineers confirmed buildings with a flat roof and panel structures are most likely to be at risk.

Chief Executive Fiona MacGregor said: "Our current understanding, based on engagement with sector advisers and stakeholders, is that RAAC is not widespread in social housing.

"However, it may be present in a small number of buildings.

"Ensuring the safety of tenants and residents should be the highest priority for every landlord.

"We expect landlords to ensure that they have a good understanding of their homes, including building safety issues and whether homes contain RAAC components and the risk to tenant safety arising from these; that you develop proportionate mitigation and remediation plans where required; and seek suitably qualified advice where necessary."

It comes as thousands of kids are suffering either a delay to the start of term – or even being forced to endure lockdown-style remote learning due to presence of RAAC in school buildings.

Most schools where RAAC has been discovered have managed to keep face-to-face teaching in place.

But of the total 147 schools on the list, 19 have had a delayed start of term, a further 20 have some form of home-learning, and another four are teaching kids fully remotely.

Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan have vowed to "do everything we can to support teachers, parents and get children back to normal schooling as quickly as possible".

But there are now serious concerns the issue is far more widespread.

Hospitals, court houses and social homes are all feared to possibly contain RAAC.

Investigations by surveyors are ongoing.

At PMQs Sir Keir Starmer described that scandal as "the inevitable result of 13 years of cutting corners, botched jobs, sticking-plaster politics".

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But a defiant PM hit back saying: "This is exactly the kind of political opportunity that we've come to expect from Captain Hindsight over here.

"Before today, he's never once raised this issue with me, across this dispatch box."

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