Cwmcarn school launches '‘buy a brick' to shift asbestos
10:20am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNERS will today launch a Buy a Brick campaign in a bid to raise £1 million to ensure the re-opening of a Valleys school.
Parents whose children attend Cwmcarn High School are asking supporters to buy a ‘virtual brick’ at a cost of £2, £5, £10, £20 or £50 to help them raise the money needed to remove asbestos from its buildings.
They say they have taken matters into their own hands, claiming the council has been slowto act in allowing pupils to return, despite reports suggesting the level of risk was much lower than was at first thought.
Kelly East, who is leading the “Sponsor a brick, sponsor my future” campaign, said: “Weneed to take this on ourselves. We are just trying to raise as much awareness as possible and trying to get as many people on board to help us with funding.”
Those who make donations will have their name and the amount pledged printed on a sticker and added to a wooden wall to be built and displayed at the school once pupils return.
Mrs East added: “That will showthat people’s donations have got us back there.”
Supporters are also appealing for help from local businesses and plan to hold a black-tie event and auction to boost funds.
As reported yesterday Caerphilly council has asked the Welsh Assembly for money to carry out the near- £1 million remediation works required. But a spokesman for the Welsh Government said yesterday funding for the removal of asbestos was a matter for the local authority, not the Welsh Government.
The Save Cwmcarn group, which like the school is a registered charity, is currently setting up an online donation page where people can pledge their support.
Open school quickly – plea to council
THE leaders of Cwmcarn High School are urging the council to re-open the school as soon as possible following the publication of the latest survey report.
The governors and head teacher, Jacqui Peplinski, say the latest survey by Ensafe agrees with previous assessments, that the level of risk posed by airborne asbestos is below the level of quantification as stated by the Health and Safety Executive.
While assessments found debris in the roof voids, they say this has been there since the 1980s or early 1990s, and has been managed by Caerphilly council, who carried out removal works near the debris but did not consider it to pose a sufficient risk to remove before work started.
The debris has therefore been managed in situ over many years and there was no change of circumstance in September 2012 when Santia carried out a survey on behalf of the council, a joint statement says.
They add that this debris could have been removed without the need to close the whole school, as in other schools, and question why the council has acted differently at Cwmcarn.