HC Deb 24 February 1966 vol 725 c609
19. Mr. Duffy

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the public expenditure on new schools in Yorkshire and Humberside for 1964–65; and what percentage this represents of the total for the United Kingdom.

Mr. Redhead

Figures for the total expenditure on new schools are not available. The value of building work carried out on major schools projects in the region was £9.2 million, which represents 12.6 per cent. of the total for England and Wales.

Mr. Duffy

Does my hon. Friend think that that total is sufficient in view of the backlog of inadequate school buildings which now exists in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where in the Colne Valley, for example, more than three-quarters of the primary schools were built in the nineteenth century and more than half are dependent on an outside lavatory, and where one school had to be evacuated a week ago because rocks fell from an overhanging cliff in to the playground?

Mr. Redhead

Unhappily, there is a legacy of neglect in respect of school buildings all over the country, which the Government are seeking to overcome as rapidly as may be, but regard has to be paid to the most urgent and pressing demands in assessing the requirements.

Sir E. Boyle

In view of what the hon. Gentleman has just said, is it not a fact that the previous Government approved approximately £2 million worth of school improvements in the West Riding compared with the present Government's intention to spend no more money on school improvements, except for projects needed for the raising of the school-leaving age?

Mr. Redhead

The right hon. Gentleman should await events. The future programme is not yet determined.