§ 36. Mr. Piratin
asked the Minister of Education why he cut the London County Council 1950 education expenditure from £7,758,000 to £3 million; whether similar cuts have been made in the expenditure of the local education authorities; what is the total of these cuts; and what will be the effect in providing places for the one million more children by 1952.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Since the answer is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Piratin
Meanwhile, can the Minister tell the House what will be the total amount of the different cuts applying to all local education authorities, and whether that is the amount which was referred to in the £35 million cut in building announced by the Prime Minister the other week?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
The total amount is contained in the answer, which is so long that I thought it would take too much time to read it.
§ Mrs. Leah Manning
Is it or is it not a fact that the L.C.C. is saved a considerable amount in building by places like Essex having to build on their estates for the school children who come to live there from all over London?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
That is another question, which I am sure the House would not wish me to answer now.
Mr. H. D. Hughes
In view of the correspondence in "The Times" and elsewhere, will my right hon. Friend make it clear that these figures which are being quoted as "cuts" are not cuts in building at all, but are cuts in paper estimates which were grossly inflated compared with the general national plan prior to the introduction of the general cuts?
§ Following is the answer:
§ Local education authorities were told last February that the 1950 building programme would be about the same size as that for 1949. The work proposed by authorities was nearly three times as big. It had, therefore, to be reduced to bring it within the limits both of the available resources and of authorities' capacity to prepare the necessary plans and carry the work out. The reductions in individual programmes were announced to authorities last July and August.
§ Between January, 1947, and December, 1953, new school places in maintained schools are required to meet three main needs. The school population was increased by about 330,000 as a result of the raising of the school leaving age. Over the period, the school population is expected to increase by nearly one million as a result of the high birthrate of the years 1944–48. School places will also be required to meet the needs of children on new housing estates, but much of this provision will free places elsewhere to meet needs arising from the increased birthrate.518
§ The total requirement over the period 1947–53 is estimated at about 1,450,000 places. Against this total requirement, it is estimated that in January, 1947, about 300,000 places were available in suitably situated existing school buildings. About 350,000 new places will have been provided by the end of 1949, 90,000 of them this year. A further 135,000 new places are expected to be provided during 1950.