§ MR. ARTHUR JEFFREYS (Hants, Basingstoke)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether plans for a new boys' school in the parish of Aldershot have been approved by the Education Department; whether he is aware that the Aldershot School Board obtained these plans by open advertisement, thereby incurring a liability of about £400, and also refrained from taking action until the Department's approval to the plans had been obtained; whether the Education Department now refuses to allow the necessary borrowing powers on the ground that the cost per head exceeds £10; and, whether the only suggestion made by the Department (which was accompanied by a sketch plan which did not provide the necessary accommodation) was that the Board should obtain new plans and new tenders, or pay the additional cost out of current account?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir JOHN GORST, Cambridge University)
The plans were not approved until it had been pointed out to the Board several 1068 times, that their scheme lacked compactness and involved much waste of space. When the Estimates came to be submitted, it was found that the cost would considerably exceed the 110 limit. The consulting architect suggested a cheaper and more satisfactory scheme, which was not accepted by the Board; and the Department have finally agreed to sanction the loan on condition that a balance of about £530 is paid out of current account. I understand that the facts stated in paragraph 2 are correct; but the Board would not have been justified in proceeding with the building till the loan was sanctioned. The loan for the purchase of the site has been granted.