Edinburgh News: Lothian Councils pay £700,000 to asbestos victims… It was regularly used in buildings from the 1950s until the late-1990s when it was banned. With the number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, in NHS Lothian more than doubling in the past 20 years, experts warn the number of claims will continue to rise… New figures, released under Freedom of Information, show that the city council has paid out £356,800 in the past five years to victims of asbestos. Midlothian Council has paid out £152,700 since 2008 and West Lothian Council paid out £196,817 in a settlement to an ex-council worker who developed asbestos-related lung disease.
In 2004, Edinburgh spent millions of pounds to remove asbestos from council buildings, including schools and public buildings… Five years later, in 2009, the council was fined £14,000 after exposing ten of its employees to asbestos dust at Castlebrae Community High School.
Nottinghamshire Post: Council offices built in the 1960s and full of asbestos could be pulled down in a bid to save up to £10 million in refurbishment costs… Nottinghamshire County Council’s CLASP building, in the centre of the County Hall site, has a maintenance backlog of £1.2 million. Surveys of the building, which is known as ‘H’ Block at County Hall, estimate that it would cost somewhere between £7 million and £10 million to bring the offices up to modern standards. But demolition costs are estimated at £1.3 million, and the council forecasts the annual running costs at £178,000.”
Comment Nottingham County Council built public buildings and schools using the CLASP system. The cost effectiveness of these options for an office block are similar to those for UK CLASP schools containing asbestos. There is a lack of strategic vision in the government’s failure to do the same and analyse the balance of costs between maintenance, removal of asbestos and demolition and properly cater for the short and long term costs of dealing with asbestos. This example illustrates the major flaw of specifically excluding asbestos in the government review of the condition of school property. Maintenance and refurbishing of an existing building can be very expensive because of the high costs of dealing with asbestos and the failure to address the issue factually means that government funding for school buildings is fundamentally flawed.
Music teacher died of mesothelioma. Local authority admitted culpable exposure to asbestos
Julia Popple died aged 54 from mesothelioma following following exposure to asbestos in her early career.
Mrs Popple worked as an assistant music teacher at a state school in Newham, East London in the 1980s when she was in her late 20s. She was only in employment there for three years but suffered what the local authority admitted was culpable exposure to respirable asbestos dust. The school contained lots of asbestos materials and some of the walls comprised asbestos insulation board. Lots of the classrooms had asbestos ceiling tiles and Julia often went into a broom cupboard to fetch a dustpan and brush when this cupboard was itself contaminated with low but, foreseeably harmful levels of asbestos dust and fibre….Stephen Glynn was prepared to take on the claim under a CFA well before the defendant admitted liability. He advised and drafted pleading which led to the settlement this week of the claim in the sum of £450,000.