County's asbestos legacy revealed

Asbestos is contained in the majority of Pembrokeshire County Council’s public buildings, from schools to libraries to leisure centres, a Western Telegraph Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Libraries in Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, Hakin, Milford Haven, Neyland, Pembroke, Fishguard all have some form of asbestos present, while the authority also listed leisure centres in Pembroke, Narberth, Tenby, Milford Haven and Crymych as containing some form of it.

Crocodolite is the most common form, with amosite and chrysotile found less frequently.

Materials containing asbestos are also present in schools across the county from Angle to Llanychllwydog.

The council said that it had removed any damaged or vulnerable asbestos during investigations throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

This was followed by a second survey which was completed at the end 2007.

The authority also revealed it has a permit-towork procedure, managed by the council’s asbestos unit, and all people carrying out work must have received asbestos awareness training.

At the recent full council meeting, a question by Councillor David Bryan revealed that 64 out the county’s 70 schools contained some form of the material, the use of which has been been banned in the UK since 1999.

In reply, cabinet member for education, Cllr Huw George said the Health and Safety Executive recommended that asbestos products should be left in place, providing they were in good condition, and should be subsequently managed.

He added that the council had robust systems in place for the management and regulation of asbestos-containing material in all Pembrokeshire schools.

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