COUNCILLORS remained tight-lipped at a Valleys authority tonight as they were presented with a report on asbestos at Cwmcarn High School.

There was no debate at the full Caerphilly council meeting at its headquarters in Penallta.

And a report read out to the meeting from the Health and Safety Executive said that body had concerns over the interpretation of the report by specialist firm Santia Asbestos Management Limited which recommended knocking down the building which was closed down in October and said there was a "serious risk" of exposure to asbestos at the school.

The Argus reported today that the Santia report said that there was evidence of widespread contamination within the ceiling voids at the school building and that ten times the accepted airborne fibre levels were evident when some of the heaters are used.

The more than 900 pupils are currently being taught at the former Coleg Gwent site in Ebbw Vale.

In a statement read out at the meeting by deputy chief executive Nigel Barnett on behalf of the HSE, it was said that the HSE had concerns the report had been misinterpreted.

The HSE stated that it had been found that there was no specific asbestos incident which gave rise to the closure of the school but that the council had acted appropriately in closing the school.

The HSE statement also said that none of the air samples exceeded the limit of 0.01 asbestos fibres per cubic centimetre.

As the statement was read out there were groans from the public gallery.

The HSE said that due to continuing investigations at the school, it was unable to comment further.

Mayor of Caerphilly Cllr Gaynor Oliver said: "I hope that a lot of the anxiety has been taken away." This was met by more groaning from the public gallery.

Councillors voted in favour of additional investigations being carried out at the school to establish facts including the full extent of materials within the school building, the degree of damage and the extent and spread of asbestos fibre contamination.