GOVERNORS of Cwmcarn High School met again last night in a bid to end a stalemate over who will complete £1 million worth of asbestos repairs at the site.
A war of words has sparked between the governors, their specialist advisors Ensafe and Caerphilly council in recent weeks, as each accuses the other of changing its demands, despite £1 million works to remove airborne asbestos being formally agreed in April.
The council announced on June 6 that it would no longer deal with Ensafe because it said they kept asking for improvements that had not been agreed to, and which could be deemed preferential in light of the 21st Century Schools programme.
Ensafe spokesman Greg Kirkman responded that the works were necessary as a consequence of removing asbestos and to comply with building regulations.
Meanwhile, pupils are still being bussed to Ebbw Vale while they wait for the governors to choose whether Ensafe or the council will carry out the works, eight months after the school closed in October last year.
Governors failed to come to a decision last Tuesday, prompting the authority on Friday to issue a statement in which acting chief executive Nigel Barnett said time was running out. On Saturday, the governors hit back on the school’s website, describing the council’s stance as aggressive and accusing it of using delaying tactics which are detrimental towards the school.
In a statement chairman of governors Gary Thomas said: “The governing body was twice ready to sign a copy of the grant agreement provided by the council on May 16 and 23.
“However, the council has continually introduced new and even more onerous terms and conditions, thus preventing the governing body from signing it.”
The governors have received additional legal health and safety guidance from the Health and Safety Executive but said the council has not responded to requests to clarify who is legally responsible.
“This has left the school with an impossible situation,”
said the statement.
A Caerphilly council spokesman said he was unable to comment until after Monday night’s meeting had taken place.