HC Deb 07 December 1967 vol 755 cc1652-3
25. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to receive the submission of the Birmingham local education authority in response to Circular 10/65.

Mr. Gordon Walker

I am informed that consultation is still taking place locally about the authority's provisional proposals. I do not know when a plan will be formally submitted to me.

Mr. Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this plan is now nearly 18 months late, according to the date of the original circular, and that, for the past year, they have been hawking around Birmingham a plan which the authority changes every six months and which has the support of neither the teachers and parents nor anyone else? Will he urge them to get a move on?

Mr. Gordon Walker

I think that the authority will very soon send me a scheme.

Mr. Gurden

Does the right hon. Gentleman regret his predecessor's cutting out of the building programme urgently needed purpose-built comprehensive schools in Birmingham?

Mr. Gordon Walker

There was no such act. We cannot afford money at the moment for any large-scale building of comprehensive schools. This is true, and it has been said all the time perfectly openly by everybody. Therefore, I do not regret my predecessor's action.

Mr. Victor Yates

When my right hon. Friend receives this plan from Birmingham, will he compare it very closely with the plan which the Labour local authority prepared and which has now been scrapped?

Mr. Gordon Walker

I will have to wait until I see the plan. I should not indicate attitudes to possible plans until I see them, and they must be considered with an open mind.