HC Deb 05 February 1963 vol 671 c213
13. Mr. W. T. Rodgers

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will draw the attention of local authorities to the need to improve play facilities, especially in urban areas, for young children; and if he will make available grants for this purpose.

Mr. Corfield

Authorities generally are well aware of any local needs of this kind. Where local authorities qualify for rate deficiency grant, revenue expenditure on any schemes they undertake will attract this grant, but my right hon. Friend does not think that a specified grant for this purpose is needed.

Mr. Rodgers

While I understand that it may not be possible to make grants, I am particularly concerned with play facilities for the under-fives, and I do not take the view that local authorities are sufficiently aware of the need. Will the hon. Gentleman therefore draw their attention, in particular, to the work which has been done by the Save the Children Fund in this respect and urge them to make sites for these facilities available, especially where they are building high flats?

Mr. Corfield

We really do have remarkably few complaints of this nature and have no evidence that local authorities, with their local knowledge, are not well able to assess need. But I will think about the hon. Gentleman's suggestion.