HC Deb 24 May 1971 vol 818 cc8-9
7. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many nursery schools, English speaking and Welsh speaking, respectively, there are in Flintshire, giving the location of each.

Mr. Peter Thomas

One, at Shotton. English is the medium of instruction.

Mr. Jones

Is the Secretary of State not aware of the rocketing population in Flintshire, particularly East Flintshire? Would he not agree that, in those circumstances, there is, on new housing estates, a real and acute need for nursery school provision? Is there any action that he might take to encourage and assist local authorities to provide more nursery schools?

Mr. Peter Thomas

Yes, I am aware of the great increase in population in Flintshire, but priority at this stage is being given to the replacement of inadequate pre-1903 primary schools. Later, I hope, we shall be able to give greater priority to the needs of nursery schools. I am, however, continuing to develop nursery education in areas of special need.

Mr. Elystan Morgan

Does the right hon. Gentleman not appreciate that there are now five times the number of mothers working in Wales that there were in 1950, and that this creates a substantial social problem, to which the provision of nursery schools is part of the answer?

Mr. Peter Thomas

Yes, a lot of children under five go to primary schools; 57 per cent. of the four-year-old age group are in primary schools.