HC Deb 01 March 1962 vol 654 cc1511-2
14. Mr. Ainsley

asked the Minister of Education what was the total amount of work submitted, and the figure approved, for the minor capital works programme for 1961–62 and 1962–63 by the Durham County Education Committee.

Sir D. Eccles

The authority origin ally asked for allocations of£450,000 for each of these years. It spent about£156,000 between 1st April and 30th September, 1961, and under current arrangements can spend a further£220,000 up to 31st March, 1963, without counting works costing less than£2,000.

Mr. Willey

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he will be able to make a more specific statement about the minor works programme, and whether he will be able to remove the effect of these cuts altogether?

Sir D. Eccles

I should like to be able to make it shortly, but we shall have to wait to see how the economic circumstances go.

Mr. Ainsley

Is the Minister aware of the feeling of discontent among the county education authorities in regard to these cuts in the minor works programme of over 50 per cent.? Is he aware that only yesterday the county authority declared an increase of Is. 6d. in its rates, and also that there is a limit to the rate call to be borne by the local authorities which is being shed by the central authority? Is it not a matter of neglect by the Government? Surely, the sins of the fathers are now being felt by these children?

Sir D. Eccles

All authorities regret that the minor works allocation has been cut. The second part of the hon. Gentleman's Question raises a very different issue.