HC Deb 06 April 1950 vol 473 cc1335-6
7. Brigadier Smyth

asked the Minister of Education whether he is satisfied that the playing ground facilities for secondary schools in London is adequate, in view of the number of such schools which have few or no such facilities; and, if not, what steps he is taking in the matter.

Mr. Tomlinson

The inadequacy of playground and playing field facilities for London secondary schools is well known to me, and to the local education authority on whom falls the primary responsibility to see that they are made adequate. The authority's development plan, which I recently approved, includes proposals which, when carried out, will substantially increase the facilities.

Brigadier Smyth

Would the right hon. Gentleman realise that lack of playing space in London has caused acute anxiety to those concerned with the education of children and is generally regarded as a contributory cause to the present increase of juvenile delinquency?

Mr. Tomlinson

Yes, Sir, but the impossibility of providing playing fields in a built-up area, where there is not a scrap of land on which to establish one, presents itself to everybody. That is the reason why, in the proposals which have been put forward, playing fields are to be provided on the outskirts.

Mr. Walter Fletcher

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that in many built-up areas opencast coal getting prevents open spaces being provided for schools?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have not heard of any in London.