CONSIDERATION could be given to banning traffic on streets outside some Swansea schools at certain times of the day, a cabinet member has said.
Councillor Jennifer Raynor said the council was undertaking a safety audit of schools with traffic problems outside, and that a health and safety officer was discussing options with school leaders.
The cabinet member for education told a scrutiny committee: “I’m not convinced the best option is to increase the amount of parking.”
She said she had looked with “considerable interest” at examples elsewhere of traffic being banned on certain streets at certain times of the day, and it was something the council would look at when the safety audit was completed.
The parking question was one of several put by the committee to Cllr Raynor and director of education Nick Williams on the back of their report outlining key improvements in education and the challenges over the next year.
Councillor Peter Black said every school in Swansea had parking issues outside, and that he knew of traffic wardens and police officers who received abuse for trying to sort it out.
Cllr Raynor said she had asked for a breakdown of traffic warden patrols outside schools just over a month a go, and was still waiting for a response.
“As a school governor I know what these issues are,” she said.
“Governors have tried to take action, and they received abuse.”
She said she had given £1,000 of her environment grant to Penybryn Special School, Morriston, to create messages along with two other primary schools to highlight parking and safety issues to parents.
Councillor Peter Jones asked which schools were being monitored for air pollution outside, and what was being done to stop coach drivers and parents from idling their engines while waiting to pick up children.
The cabinet member said she could provide a list of schools where air quality monitoring was taking place, and added: “There are no schools where there are concerns about air quality outside.”
But she encouraged councillors to report coach drivers who idled their engines, as this could be taken up with their bosses as part of their council contract.
In response to another question, Cllr Raynor said evidence-based teaching on climate change was being carried out at schools, and that an event for secondary schools organised by Swansea University was taking place on this topic on October 22.
“I am very pleased with the way our schools are ahead of the game here,” she said.
“It is one of the reasons our pupils are not a group being panicked and frightened but are positively planning for their future.”
Cllr Raynor was also asked if maintenance issues had been reported at Bishopston Comprehensive School prior to a roof leak during heavy rain which caused its temporary closure this month.
She said there were no outstanding maintenance issues, but that water ingress at the school was not a surprise given that the roof was coming to the end of its life and would be renewed.
“I heard some rumours about the lead flashing not being put right,” she said. “I asked our officers to investigate, and it proved to be an incorrect assertion.”
Cllr Raynor also paid tribute to Bishopston staff and the council’s corporate building team for their efforts in reopening the school within three days.