William Eichler 04 April 2018

Auditors tell councils to ‘learn lessons’ from school wall collapse

Auditors tell councils to ‘learn lessons’ from school wall collapse image

Auditors have called on councils in Scotland to ‘learn lessons’ from the collapse of a school wall in Edinburgh.

In its report into the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary School in 2016, the Accounts Commission said there were ‘serious faults in procurement, design and construction’.

It also noted these ‘faults’ were found in other City of Edinburgh Council buildings, including libraries, community centres and care homes.

The report emphasised the importance of all councils undertaking regular, comprehensive structural risk assessments and inspections on public buildings to ensure the safety of service users.

It also added that where a council employs a company to provide construction services, it is vital that it puts in place appropriate checks and controls.

‘The City of Edinburgh Council responded quickly and comprehensively to the wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary School,’ said Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission.

‘However, all councils in Scotland must ensure public buildings in their care are regularly checked and appropriately maintained.

‘While reduced resources mean councils must make difficult decisions about service provision, they should  have an appropriate level of expertise to deliver and safely maintain buildings.’

‘People must have confidence in the safety and integrity of public buildings,’ he added.

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