HC Deb 19 March 1953 vol 513 cc206-7
42. Mr. Speir

asked the Minister of Education whether she realises that the village institute at Stocksfield-on-Tyne has been under Government requisition for the past 14 years; and when she plans to arrange for its occupation by the Northumberland local education authority to cease and for its derequisition and restoration to its rightful use.

The Minister of Education (Miss Florence Horsbrugh)

This village institute has been under requisition since 1941. I am afraid that I can give no indication of when it will be possible to release it.

Mr. Speir

While not blaming my right hon. Friend for the decisions of her predecessor, may I ask whether she is fully aware of the acute irritation which is being caused to local inhabitants by the prolonged occupation of this institute by one Government Department after another? Furthermore, does my right hon. Friend realise that the Northumberland education authority have pursued a very irrational policy in that they spent £1,000 in providing a kitchen in a nearby school but have now closed down the school? Will my right hon. Friend, therefore, discuss this matter further with the local education authority and try to persuade them to adopt a more rational policy?

Miss Horsbrugh

The institute to which my hon. Friend refers is, I know, being used as a central kitchen. The authority's building plans for releasing the institute were stopped by economies imposed by the Government in the autumn of 1949.