HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc1623-4
1. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans she has made to pay an official visit to the city of Portsmouth.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

I have no plans to do so.

Mr. Judd

Is the right hon. Lady aware that the citizens of Portsmouth will be disappointed by that reply? Does she appreciate that when she is able to make plans and visit Portsmouth she will find that there are two urgent problems requiring her attention? Is she aware that the first problem is the difficulty for a city such as Portsmouth to finance its present educational programme, let alone improve it, and does she realise the burden that this places on the ratepayers as compared with other cities of roughly the second problem is the severe crisis in the shortage of residential and work accommodation in the polytechnic which is developing rapidly, and the stress which this is placing upon the city, which is short of accommodation for its own purposes?

Mrs. Thatcher

We are very much aware of the accommodation problem in polytechnics and universities. I will also bear in mind the hon. Gentleman's other point, which is jointly a question for myself and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.