HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc1628-9
7. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the financial reduction in money terms in the Inner London Education Authority minor works programme, for primary and junior schools, for the coming financial year.

Mr. van Straubenzee

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given to his Question on 10th February.—[Vol. 830, c. 1531.]

Mr. Cox

With great respect, when I last asked the Question I received no answer, because no figures were given by the hon. Gentleman. He must be aware of the figures relating to the cuts. Does he not agree that the cuts will present serious problems to many schools in the I.L.E.A. area, not only for the coming financial year but for a long time afterwards? Will he agree to meet elected representatives of I.L.E.A. to discuss this matter with them?

Mr. van Straubenzee

No specific figures were given to the hon. Gentleman last time because he asked a Question to which no specific answer could be given in terms of figures, the decision being that of the I.L.E.A. I confirmed last time, and I confirm now, that there has been a reduction. A minor works allocation of £1 million in 1972–73 is a generous share of the available resources for an area with a declining primary school population.

Mr. Cox

And increasing problems.

Mr. Grylls

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the Inner London Education Authority will benefit perhaps more than all other parts of the country from the modernisation and replacement programme for primary schools started by my right hon. Friend?

Mr. van Straubenzee

In two programmes 31 primary school replacement projects have been included, at a total cost of almost £4 million.

Mr. Edward Short

Is it not a great discourtesy to the House for the hon. Gentleman to give the answer that he has just given? The Question asked for figures. The hon. Gentleman referred my hon. Friend to a previous Question and said that no figures were given in the previous answer. Is that not a discourtesy to the House?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order.