Wirral Council has inspected nearly 200 buildings for RAAC

Wirral Council has inspected nearly 200 buildings for reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

RAAC is a form of lightweight bubbly concrete that was used in many public sector buildings between the 1950s and 1990s. It was a cheaper alternative to standard concrete and quicker to produce but only has a lifespan of around 30 years.

However, the concrete is susceptible to collapse without warning. Safety issues were first reported in the 1980s and the government has been monitoring it in some public buildings since 2018.

A Freedom of Information request revealed in June that Wirral Council had inspected all of its school buildings with RAAC found not to be present in any of these. It said 99 schools had been inspected by the authority.

The local authority said, “We are in process of assessing all other council buildings within the Authority’s Portfolio but this is an ongoing task that will take considerable time to complete.”

Wirral Council said a further 28 schools in the borough are either diocese or academy schools that would employ their own surveyor.

Since then, the local authority has also been inspecting all of the buildings it owns. As of 2 October, it has assessed 100 non-school buildings out of a total of 228. RAAC has not been found in any but further surveys are ongoing.

The issue made national headlines after a number of schools were forced to close just before the start of term in September 2023 due to safety concerns. The government later published that 174 schools and colleges had the crumbling concrete.

As of 19 September, only one school had had to move to remote learning and less than 1% of schools overall were affected by the concrete.

All local authority areas in the Liverpool City Region have confirmed no RAAC has been established in any education settings to date.

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