As The Press reported yesterdayNo schools were forced to close in York after the government ordered 150 schools across England that use reinforced aerated concrete (RAAC) to close the affected buildings.
Labor parliamentary candidate for York Outer Luke Charters, responding to the RAAC crisis in schools, criticized the government’s record on school safety and accused the Tories of being “sleeping at the wheel”.
Mr Charters said an urgent audit of all public buildings needed to be carried out.
He referred to a Labor parliamentary motion in May – the school building safety law – who called on the Government to make the state of school buildings public, something which the incumbent Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, voted against.
He said: “York Outer Tory MP Julian Sturdy disgracefully voted against the publication of school building safety surveys in May.
“His dereliction of duty to his constituents cannot go unnoticed.
“It is time for this Conservative government to clarify which schools were affected, what they knew about this dangerous concrete and the decisions they made that led to more than a hundred closures.
“An urgent, comprehensive review is needed to find out the extent to which Conservative ministers have failed to replace this dangerous concrete across the public sector.”
In response, Mr Sturdy said: “I am pleased to put on record my stance in support of the rebuilding and improvement of schools across York, with Wheldrake and Thorganby Primary School, Tang Hall Primary School, Hempland Primary School and the All Saints RC School all benefit from the Department for educational scholarships in recent years.
“RAAC in schools is understandably a very worrying issue for families.
“No schools have closed in York and the new school year has started as usual. Of the 22,000 schools and colleges, less than one percent is known to be affected; ten percent still need to be investigated. The government had started monitoring construction work with RAAC in 2018 and took the precaution of closing schools with RAAC after two schools that had passed surveys reported problems.
“While the Government has acted quickly to address the growing concerns, in the face of mounting public pressure last night Welsh Labor only closed the affected schools and the SNP did not close any schools. Surveys will be expedited and any remedial action will be funded by a dedicated department for education caseworkers who work with schools to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
“According to my voting record, the School Building Safety Bill was an Opposition Day motion attempting to wrest control of the order paper away from the government. The Labor Party refused to table the bill without such hyperbole, so in the end I couldn’t support it and they decided to table it in a parliamentary tournament before the bill was passed.
“In contrast, I supported the Priority Schools Building Programme, which Labor rejected despite helping to rebuild 261 schools in its first round of funding, before being backed with a further £6 billion to build 277 more schools.”
https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23768668.york-outer-labours-luke-charters-school-safety-row/?ref=rss York Outer Labor’s Luke Charters in school safety dispute