§ 79. Colonel HOWARD-BURY
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has received representations from the Essex County Council regarding the numerous new schools that are required to be built in the Dagenham district to provide accommodation for children imported into that area by the London County Council; and whether he can assist the Essex county ratepayer in any way?
§ Lord E. PERCY
I have received representations on this subject from the Essex County Council. The present education grant formula with its capitation grant of 36s. per head of average 41 attendance, in addition to the percentage grants, already gives very material assistance to areas which have to meet an influx of population. Further assistance could only be given by a complete change in the grant system. The case of Essex is not unique, and I am afraid it would be impossible to deal with it in isolation.
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is my right hon. Friend aware that no less than 130,000 people have been removed from the London County Council area into the Essex County Council area, which results in a great burden on the Essex ratepayers, and cannot he do something to meet the situation?
§ Lord E. PERCY
The case of Essex may be one which to a certain extent is different in degree from that of other areas. It is not different in kind. There are movements of population of a similar kind in many other areas, and the present grant does provide a factor which deals with such cases. I do not deny that it might be arguable that the grant formula should include a larger grant to deal with such cases, but I do say that the case of Essex cannot be dealt with in isolation, as it would involve a change in the whole grant system.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Is the Noble Lord aware that, all these houses are subsidised by the London rates, and therefore to that extent by the London ratepayers?
Is the Noble Lord not aware that these people are paying rates to the Essex County Council to help in the education of their children?