HC Deb 27 June 1963 vol 679 cc1644-5
22. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education how many schemes for village halls, community centres and playing fields he has approved under the Physical Training and Recreation Act in the current building programme; and what are the total capital grants allocated to the voluntary bodies in each category.

Mr. Chataway

During 1962–63, my right hon. Friend made firm offers of grant totalling £176,500 for 170 village hall schemes, £36,000 for 17 community centre schemes and £93,500 for 67 playing field schemes. These schemes are not at present covered by a formal building programme.

Mr. Boyden

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the figure is still not up to that for 1961–62? Has he not an obligation to make bigger grants in the current year than were made in 1961–62 in order to bring it up to that level? Surely there is a great need to encourage this activity?

Mr. Chataway

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that my noble Friend the Lord President of the Council announced a considerable advance in this matter in the House of Lords recently. As a result we shall be making more generous grants—more generous in a number of ways—to sports bodies.