HC Deb 01 March 1962 vol 654 c1521
27. Mr. Short

asked the Minister of Education what reductions he has made in the minor works programme of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne local education authority; and why such reductions have been made.

Sir D. Eccles

I announced last July that allocations for minor works would have to be reduced as part of the Governments financial measures. The effect in Newcastle is that their minor works expenditure in 1961–63 will amount to£37,000 contracted for in the first six months of 1961–62,£60,000 for the rest of the two-year period and a further sum at the authority's discretion for projects costing less than£2,000 each. This replaces the previous allocations of£85,000 and£110,000 for all minor works in the two years.

Mr. Short

Is the Minister aware that that is a reduction of more than 50 per cent.? Why has he turned down the request of the Education Committee to increase this by£10,000? Is he aware that in an old city like this there are a great many old schools which need to be brought up to standard? We are very grateful for this slight help with the items under£2,000, but does he not realise that this is inadequate to bring the old schools up-to-date? Can he not review the matter?

Sir D. Eccles

I will review it just as soon as I can have a larger allocation.