HC Deb 17 December 1974 vol 883 cc1331-2
4. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the average annual increase in the school roll in Cornwall, and England and Wales, respectively, since 1968.

Mr. Armstrong

2,510 in Cornwall and 220,362 in England and Wales, representing average annual increases of 4.4 per cent. and 24.7 per cent. respectively.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the school building programme has not kept pace with these disparities? Is he also aware that the trend is likely to continue because the birth rate in Cornwall is very much higher than the birth rate in England and Wales, which is declining? What steps is the Department taking to ensure that there are roofs over heads in Cornwall, which is the policy adopted by the Department for the rest of the United Kingdom?

Mr. Armstrong

I accept what the hon Gentleman says. Cornwall is in a unique position because it has failed to benefit from the basic need criteria, due to the wider spread and nature of the population growth. We recently allocated an extra £400,000 for minor works. We are in touch with the authority, and the hon. Gentleman will know that I received a deputation from Cornwall. I hope to visit the area at the beginning of the new year.

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