HC Deb 04 August 1971 vol 822 cc1557-9
6. Mr. Buchanan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what advice and encouragement he has given to local authorities for the provision of all-weather running tracks for the training and coaching of young athletes, particularly in the Glasgow area.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

The provision of sports facilities is primarily a matter for local authorities. Advice is available to them from both the Scottish Office and the Scottish Council of Physical Recreation on individual proposals, for example on the most appropriate surfaces for running tracks. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend and I intend to encourage the provision of sports and recreational facilities in Scotland.

Mr. Buchanan

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his elevation to the Front Bench and hope that he will have some happy years there—[Interruption.] I can promise him—[Interruption.]—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The idea that Scottish Question Time can be a happy time is a little unusual.

Mr. Buchanan

Apart from anything else, I am a realist, and I promise the hon. Gentleman that future Questions will not be as easy as this one today.

I appreciate that power to provide these facilities rests with local authorities, but to date they have not made very much progress in providing all-weather tracks. I should like the hon. Gentleman to move from encouraging to stimulating local authorities to provide these tracks.

Mr. Monro

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's remarks. I am somewhat apprehensive at hearing my own voice again.

The scheme for grants to local sports clubs ended on 10th June, 1971. It will be open to local sports clubs and to local authorities to submit applications for grants towards such schemes to the new Executive Sports Council when it comes into being on 1st April, 1972. It will be for the Council to prepare its new scheme of grants and to decide whether to grant aid any particular project.

Mr. Douglas

Would the hon. Gentleman care to inform the House of any developments about the possibility of using Hampden Park as a sports centre for the whole of Scotland?

Mr. Monro

My hon. Friend has had discussions with Hampden Park, but at this stage I am not in a position to make any statement.

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