Articles  •  Britain

Concrete Crisis Raacs Greater Manchester

28 September 2023

By Rose Tedeschi

As Workers Power reported on in our September editorial, nearly 150 schools across the country
have been forced to close, partially or entirely, because the buildings are at risk of collapse. The list
of affected buildings includes nine schools in Greater Manchester, a small theatre in Stockport, and even two hospitals – both Salford Royal and Royal Oldham – are confirmed to have RAAC in their

Rishi Sunak has claimed that the government is doing ‘everything it can to fix this quickly and
minimise the disruption to children’s education’, a statement that blatantly ignores the fact that it is
during 13 years of Tory rule nothing has been done to redress the use of sub-standard materials and the prioritising of profit over sustainability and safety.

Further evidence that the Conservative authorities and governments have allowed the use of unsafe building materials in some of the most important public buildings is found in a damning report published by The Guardian. It found that ‘109 of the 147 affected schools are in Conservative constituencies’. It seems that if Sunak’s government really wanted to minimise the disruption to children’s education, they wouldn’t have allowed such dangerous materials into the schools.

The hospitals affected are two of seven hospital buildings across the north west dubbed ‘the worst
region in the country’ for roofs built with collapse-prone concrete. Despite this first being reported on a year ago in October 2022, the only response from health chiefs has been to state that the ‘removal of the concrete should take place before 2035’, offering little reassurance.

The Tories have proved themselves time and time again not to care about the public, allowing
dangerous building materials into vital areas of society and refusing to either take accountability or
make improvements to save the people from their own failures. This follows a decade of austerity
that has led to the decaying public infrastructure.

We must fight to kick the Tories out, to end this austerity, and expose the fact that such lack of
elementary concern for people’s safety is inevitable in a system driven by private profit – where
those who use and work in these institutions have no control over construction standards and
regular inspection. Join us out on Sunday 1 st October for a national demonstration to protest the
Tory Party Conference, assembling on in Manchester Oxford Road at 12pm.

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