Scottish Government Wellbeing Economy Secretary, Neil Gray, said investigations are still taking place to assess the scale of buildings in Scotland containing the collapse-risk concrete.

He defended his government not taking any action yet to close schools that contain Raac, as has been done by the UK Government south of the Border.

Read more: Yousaf: No plans to close Scottish schools with Raac ‘at this stage’

His government has confirmed the lightweight concrete is present in at least 35 schools in Scotland, with local authorities checking which other buildings it was used on, including hospitals and social housing.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show programme, Mr Gray said: “At the moment, there is no immediate risk to people using these buildings.

“That is why we continue to support our local authority partners, NHS boards and others, that have Raac in their buildings to ensure that remains the case, and if there are issues to be resolved, that mitigations are taken to ensure people’s safety.”

Asked whether all buildings have been inspected, given the Scottish Government was warned about the potential issue months ago, Mr Gray said the “investigations are ongoing”.

The issue came to light after the UK Government confirmed 104 schools in England will close due to the presence of the material, which was linked to the collapse of a primary school roof in Kent in 2018.

Read more: Scotland education: Collapse risk concrete present at 35 schools

The concrete was used from the 1950s until the mid-1990s, with the Institute of Structural Engineers saying it will only need to be replaced if it is considered to be of poor condition and at high-risk of collapse.

Mr Gray insisted “there is no reason to believe that the safety concern has changed in the previous weeks”.

He added: “Obviously there are checks ongoing, including intrusive checks, because obviously some of this material is going to be deep into the structure of buildings. Some of that takes time to carry out.”

The cabinet secretary was asked if the UK Government was “over-reacting” after shutting schools and colleges that could pose a risk when the Scottish Government has not taken the same action.

He said: “The UK Government have got to make their own assessment.

“We have taken ours based on the work that we are doing with out local authority partners, our NHS stakeholders.

“But my obvious issue here is about making sure the ongoing safety of the buildings, the ongoing safety of people using them – and there is no immediate risk to people using those buildings.

“Any mitigations that are required to be done, will be done by our local authority partners and NHS boards etc.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf said on Saturday that Scottish ministers have no plans to close affected schools “at this stage”.

Read more: Ninewells in Dundee is among the buildings with aerated concrete

Local authorities will be expected to prioritise remedial work where the concrete is found in public buildings, including room or building closures and the use of temporary modular provision for school pupils.

Mr Gray was asked whether council housing built in the 1950s and 1960s could also contain Raac.

He said: “We are working with all organisations that there is a potential for Raac to be present to ensure that they are taking the necessary action to ensure that they understand what is in the buildings – but also to take a risk-based assessment.”

The senior minister stressed investigations would provide “a widespread understanding of where Raac is”, adding that it was “an ongoing process”.

Mr Gray said that speculation any Raac structures that could collapse may release asbestos will form “part of the desk-based assessments that are taking place”.

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