HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc555-6
4. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many nursery classes will be opened in Wolverhampton during the year 1969–70.

Mr. Edward Short

Three nursery schools and one nursery class—seven classes in all—will be provided in Wolverhampton under the first phase of the urban programme.

Mrs. Short

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his reply, but does he not think that he is being a little unfair to Wolverhampton, which has such great needs and problems in this direction? Is he aware that, although I appreciate that Birmingham has many serious problems, too, Birmingham has received the lion's share of the West Midlands allocation under the urban aid programme? Will he look again at Wolverhampton's allocation to see if he can improve it?

Mr. Short

Birmingham is by far the biggest city in that part of the country. But Wolverhampton will be getting all the seven classes in the first phase of the programme, and letters will be going out inviting bids for the second phase within the next few days.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Will my right hon. Friend acknowledge that the provision of nursery schools affects a wider area than the Midlands, and will he give comparative figures for the provision of nursery schools under this Administration and the previous Administration?

Mr. Short

I am glad to do that in view of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition at the weekend. Over 150 classes formed by this Government are operating, which is about 150 more than under the Conservative Government. Under the first phase of the urban programme there will be another 191, and as I have said, in the next few days we shall be sending out letters asking for bids for the second phase.