HC Deb 10 April 1952 vol 498 cc2960-1
16. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Minister of Education why three new schools which had been included in the Slough building programme are to be cut out by order of her Department; and whether she will reconsider this decision.

Miss Horsbrugh

There has been delay in the development of the new housing estates which will be served by these schools. According to my information the two new schools included in the current school building programme will suffice for the time being.

Mr. Brockway

Is the right hon. Lady aware that housing has been held up in Slough because of the absence of drainage; that, when that drainage scheme is completed, there will be not only a big scheme for Slough itself but also two large L.C.C. estates; that the schools are already crowded; and that unless these buildings are put up there will not be places for at least 2,000 children?

Miss Horsbrugh

I am informed that two years ago it was estimated that 2,000 houses would be completed at Langley and Farnham Royal by the end of 1953, but now the London County Council do not expect to have completed more than 900 by the end of 1953. We are keeping in close touch and trying to see that the provision of schools synchronises with the completion of houses.

Mr. C. W. Gibson

To some extent the reply given by the right hon. Lady is correct, but are not the difficulties about the sewers the reason for the delay? Unless some authority is given for an early date to commence the building of these schools, a large number of London children living in the houses which are built will have no school to go to within the next 12 or 18 months. Will the right hon. Lady look into the matter a little more closely and try to synchronise the building of the schools and the houses more closely?

Miss Horsbrugh

That is exactly what I am doing. As the hon. Gentleman has pointed out, there has been a delay in housing. The fact that the delay has occurred has nothing to do with me. We are trying to synchronise the building. I shall certainly consider including the further projects for the area in the school building programme for 1953–54.