LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton and SNP Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville.
By Bill Heaney
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville told a Scottish Parliament Committee that there is not yet a final cost for work needed to make collapse-prone concrete in Scottish buildings safe.
And she insisted that people should not worry about the RAAC-affected buildings still in use.
However, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “We know that there have been a number of instances where RAAC that had been deemed low risk actually turned out to be unsound.
“We also know that in many cases the government is so far relying on desktop surveys, rather than observation and assessment to determine where RAAC is and whether it is safe.
“It’s simply not accurate for the minister to say that if a building is open then that means it is safe and being properly monitored.
“We need a national fund to remove RAAC from our public buildings. The bill for just a handful of projects is already into the hundreds of millions. It’s not sustainable to leave this up to cash-strapped councils and health boards to pick up the tab.”
Responding to the news that Aberdeen City Council is to review 22,000 homes in the city for the substance, believing it to be used in about 500 properties, he added:
“It is now months since I first raised questions over the presence of RAAC in housing across Scotland.
“Aberdeen City Council are doing the right thing in pursuing this review but it does raise big questions about the actions the Scottish Government are taking elsewhere in the country and whether this concrete is present in private sector residences too?”