Cost of managing asbestos in schools

Lucie Stephens made this Freedom of Information request to South Gloucestershire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear South Gloucestershire Council,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide me with the following information:
1. the amount of money spent on asbestos management in schools between 2006 and 2016 (to include the costs of surveys, staff training and work to enclose asbestos within schools)
2. the amount of money spent on asbestos removal from schools between 2006 and 2016
3. the amount of money spent on fines for breaches in the safe management of asbestos in schools between 2006 and 2016
4. funding sought from the Department of Education and the Education Funding Authority for the management and removal of asbestos from schools between 2006 and 2016
5. the amount of funding approved by the Department of Education and the Education Funding Authority for the management and removal of asbestos from schools between 2006 and 2016
6. the projected budget for future management of asbestos in schools between 2017 and 2027

I understand that under the Act I am entitled to a response within 20 working days of your receipt of this request. Some parts of the request may be easier to answer than others. Should this be the case, I request that you release information as soon as possible.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the Act. I will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive
fees.

I would prefer to receive the information electronically.

If you require any clarification, please contact me in accordance with your duty under Section 16 to provide advice and assistance if you find any aspect of this FOI request problematic.

Please acknowledge receipt of this request by email. I look forward to receiving the information in the near future.

Yours faithfully,

Lucie Stephens

Freedom of information, South Gloucestershire Council

Dear Ms Stephens

Thank you for your recent request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.
I have sent your request to our Health and safety department who will provide a response to your request.
The 20 day period for considering your request commenced on 06.09.2017.

In the event that the information you have requested is to be disclosed, it will be sent to you no later than 03.10.2017. If we cannot respond by that date then we will write to you again.

Yours sincerely

Jo-Anne Parker
Customer Relations Support Officer
South Gloucestershire Council
Chief Executive & Corporate Resources Department
Finance & Customer Services
 
Telephone: 01454 86 6208
Email: [email address]
Post: South Gloucestershire Council, Chief Executive & Corporate Resources, Customer Relations, PO Box 1953, Bristol, BS37 0DB

My working days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Dear Freedom of information,

Your response to my Freedom of Information request is now overdue. Please confirm when you will be providing me with the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

Lucie Stephens

Freedom of information, South Gloucestershire Council

Dear Lucie Stephens

Thank you for your email. Please accept our sincere apologies that you have not yet received a response to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Your response is being considered and a response will be sent to you no later 8 November.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Kind regards

Leanne Milton
Customer Relations Manager
South Gloucestershire Council
Chief Executive & Corporate Resources Department
Finance & Customer Services
 
Email: [email address]
Post: South Gloucestershire Council, Chief Executive & Corporate Resources, Customer Relations, PO Box 1953, Bristol, BS37 0DB

My working days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Helen Hudd, South Gloucestershire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Stephens

 

Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information Request.

 

Kind regards

 

Helen Hudd

Business Support Officer

 

Tel: 01454 865081

E-mail: [1][email address]

 

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and their communities, ensuring South Gloucestershire continues to be a
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Dear Helen Hudd,

Your response is extremely disappointing. It causes me great concern that you appear to have no centralised oversight of the extent of asbestos in local schools, how it is managed and how to secure funding to get it removed. While I can accept that there may be a time commitment required to compile the information to questions 1 and 2, I can't see that there would be a significant amount of time required to provide answers to the questions below;
3. the amount of money spent on fines for breaches in the safe management of asbestos in schools between 2006 and 2016
4. funding sought from the Department of Education and the Education Funding Authority for the management and removal of asbestos from schools between 2006 and 2016
5. the amount of funding approved by the Department of Education and the Education Funding Authority for the management and removal of asbestos from schools between 2006 and 2016
6. the projected budget for future management of asbestos in schools between 2017 and 2027

I would appreciate a response to the questions below.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,

Lucie Stephens

Helen Hudd, South Gloucestershire Council

Dear Ms Stephens

Apologies for the delay in responding to your e-mail below and I am sorry that you were disappointed with the response you received. Please see further information below to support our initial response:

Neither South Gloucestershire Council nor the Department of Education have protected or allocated budgets for asbestos removal and funding has not been sought from the Department of Education and the Education Funding Authority for the management and removal of asbestos from schools between 2006 and 2016.

This is in no small part because every school is different in terms of the presence of asbestos, the type of asbestos and the level of risk it poses. Therefore each school is responsible for its own asbestos management. Where circumstances dictate that asbestos needs to be removed, often for example when remedial or development works are being carried out which necessitates the disturbance of otherwise intact low risk asbestos, tests are carried out and the asbestos is safely removed. If the school arranges the work, it will be paid for out of their Devolved Capital budget. If the council is arranging the work, it could be covered by a variety of different budgets such as the annual Health and Safety Fund, the annual capital Repairs and Maintenance Fund or a variety of specific project funds allocated to the regions from Central Government. In all of these cases, the cost code applied will relate to the school, project and budget source and not the type of activity involved. Therefore, there is no way of tracking across schools or the council, the annual amount spent on asbestos removal.

As far as we are aware, there were no fines imposed or any breaches in the safe management of asbestos in South Gloucestershire schools between 2006 and 2016.

I hope this clarifies why we are unable to supply the information you required.

Kind regards

Helen Hudd
Business Support Officer
 
Tel: 01454 865081
E-mail: [email address]

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