HC Deb 21 December 1972 vol 848 cc1555-6
10. Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will now agree to bring forward the starting date for a replacement for the Fitzwilliam Junior Mixed School, Swinton, Mexborough, in view of the distance pupils have to travel for their school meal.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I cannot add to the reply given by my predecessor to the hon. Member's Question on 26th October.—[Vol. 843, c. 386.]

Mr. Wainwright

Does the hon. Gentleman realise how disappointing it is to hear those words again? Will he take into account the fact that this school was built in 1853 and that the children have to walk 400 yards along a very busy thoroughfare to the main building to have their school meal, and then walk back again, through all kinds of inclement weather? We shall probably be having sleet, snow and heavy rain in the near future, and even in the summer the children will get wet through walking for their school meal. Will the hon. Gentleman either supply some suitable clothing for the children to use when necessary during very inclement weather or make a special allocation to the West Riding County Council for a new school as soon as possible?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's anxiety about the welfare of schoolchildren in his constituency. But it is for the West Riding Education Authority, in the first place, to suggest the priority that should be given to projects. In the past it has given other projects a higher priority, but my right hon. Friend will certainly consider its claims carefully, along with other proposals which are submitted, in the preliminary list of projects which are expected to start in 1975–76. I am afraid that we have no power to make grants for clothing.