HC Deb 23 November 1972 vol 846 cc1494-5
4. Mr. Haselhurst

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will now approve a commencement date for the building of a new school to replace Prestwick Oak Lodge School for educationally subnormal children.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)

This project will be considered for inclusion in the Design List 1973–74, which is due to be announced in the spring of next year.

Mr. Haselhurst

Is my hon. Friend aware that many children in my constituency, and in the area adjoining the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. Fidler). who are waiting for places at a special school cannot at the moment find a place at the present building at Prestwick? The pressure will be further aggravated by the siting of a junior hostel in Whitefield in the near future. Can my hon. Friend give a further indication than that which he has been able to give so far?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I have seen the correspondence which my hon. Friend has had with my predecessor. I know the personal interest which my hon. Friend has taken in this school. In fact, he has visited it. My Department is well aware of the shortcomings of the existing premises, but we have not received any proposals from the Lancashire authority for the inclusion of projects in the 1972–73 preliminary list. When and if we do, I can assure my hon. Friend that my noble Friend Lord Belstead and I will give the matter the most sympathetic consideration.