Faults found in 19 Edinburgh public buildings

Oxgangs Primary School

19 Edinburgh public buildings were found to have similar faults to those found in Oxgangs Primary School, a new report has found.

The Accounts Commission reported that similar faults to those identified at Oxgangs were found in 19 other City of Edinburgh Council buildings including libraries, community centres and care homes. Remedial work to address the defects identified in these buildings is ongoing, the report stated.

The collapse of a wall at the primary school in 2016 led to the large-scale closure of 17 schools across Edinburgh.

The report acknowledged the “substantial amount of learning already taken forward” as a result of the case, but warned all councils that a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the control and assurance of the construction of public buildings is “vital”.

Graham Sharp, chair, Accounts Commission said, “The City of Edinburgh Council responded quickly and comprehensively to the wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary School. However, all councils in Scotland must ensure public buildings in their care are regularly checked and appropriately maintained.

“While reduced resources mean councils must make difficult decisions about service provision, they should have an appropriate level of expertise to deliver and safely maintain buildings. People must have confidence in the safety and integrity of public buildings.”

A Council spokesperson said, “We welcome the Accounts Commission’s report, which addresses the lessons to be learned by all local authorities following the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary. The safety of the public is of utmost importance to the City of Edinburgh Council and we fully acknowledge the need for regular, comprehensive structural assessments of public buildings and are in the process of delivering a series of actions identified by Professor John Cole in an independent report into the closure of Edinburgh schools in 2016.”