HC Deb 05 March 1970 vol 797 cc592-3
2. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the trend in recent years in the cost of school buildings erected by local authority consortia as compared with the costs of school buildings erected by individual local education authorities on the basis of open competitive tenders; and if he will publish representative statistics in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The Under-Secretary of State, Department of Education and Science (Miss Joan Lestor)

Statistical comparisons of these trends have not been made. Accurate comparisons, for various reasons, would require lengthy research. But the fact that over 70 per cent. of authorities have chosen to take advantage of the facilities of the consortia shows that they provide good value for money in terms of space, quality and speed of building.

Mr. Boyden

Is my hon. Friend aware that her answer indicates that information about the building activities of the consortia is difficult to come by and very scattered? Will she look into this matter and consider whether her Department could publish a booklet or pamphlet setting out the virtues of building by consortia and make an attempt to indicate the cost effectiveness?

Miss Lestor

I will look into that. I should think that the fact that 70 per cent. of authorities are already using this method indicates that they know a great deal about it. However, I will look into the possibility of making sure that authorities have more information.