§ MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether he is aware that the grants payable to education authorities in respect of elementary schools maintained by them, and due on 1st May last, are again in arrear; and whether he is also aware that the non-receipt of these grants is causing the local education authorities trouble and the ratepayers expense in having to provide nearly double the amount of money than estimated as sufficient at the commencement of the half year; and what steps he proposes to take in this matter.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON, Oxford University)
The aid grant and fee grant appear to have been paid this year at the same times as last year. I presume, therefore, that the grants referred to by the hon. Member are the annual grants. The payment of the annual grants accruing for payment on May 1st has proceeded at least as fast this year as last. The difference in the sums 348 received is, I think, explained by the fact that the partial system of payment of the annual grant by quarterly instalments, which has been in force daring the past two financial years, was discontinued during the early part of the present financial year. The Board have now made arrangements for the continued payment of these instalments during this year but no longer. Local authorities are, therefore, now receiving these instalments.
§ MR. SOARES
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the dilatoriness in this matter is causing great inconvenience to the town of Barnstaple?