HC Deb 12 December 1968 vol 775 cc557-8
21. Dr. Gray

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria Her Majesty's Government used in selecting areas for the increase of nursery education as part of its urban aid programme.

The Under-Secretary of State to the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)

The criteria for selecting authorities for the first phase of the urban programme were not related to educational needs as such, but were designed to show in which local authority areas urgent social need was to be found. Local authorities qualified under the criteria if they had:

  1. (a) more than 2 per cent. of households with over 1½ persons per room (on 1966 census figures); or
  2. (b) more than 6 per cent. of immigrants on the school roll (on 1967 figures).
Authorities were invited to submit proposals for day nurseries and children's homes as well as nursery schools and classes.

Dr. Gray

Will my hon. Friend look at the question of social needs again in towns such as Great Yarmouth, where a large number of married women go to work and can find employment more easily than men, where there is a problem and a need for nursery schools and for the definition of social needs to be extended?

Mr. Rees

I agree that there is this wider problem of responsibility for my right hon. Friend for the urban aid programme. On the aspect which my hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Dr. Gray) has raised, he should table a Question to the Secretary of State for the Department of Education and Science.