HC Deb 08 June 1976 vol 912 cc1189-90
13. Mr. Skinner

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to replace nineteenth century primary schools in Derbyshire and the Bolsover constituency.

Miss Margaret Jackson

It is for the local education authority to decide what priority it is able to give to replacing old primary schools within the lump sum resources for school building allocated to it by my right hon. Friend. Two such schools are currently being replaced in the Bolsover constituency.

Mr. Skinner

Is my hon. Friend aware that these difficulties are increased when education is to be cut by £680 million over the next few years? Is she further aware that the county council has run into financial difficulties over replacements, and will she take into account the fact that the Derbyshire Education Committee has allocated about £2 million out of its own capital receipts in order to speed up plans for comprehensive education in accordance with Government policy? Why is it not Government policy to help those who help themselves?

Miss Jackson

The existence of many old primary schools, particularly in Derbyshire, is a matter of considerable concern to us. I was not aware that the authority was running into financial difficulties. I shall inquire into the matter.

Mr. Rost

Is the hon. Lady aware that there is one primary school in Derby- shire which does not need replacing? Does she know that the village school at Dale Abbey is threatened with closure by the Labour-controlled Derbyshire Education Authority, despite the overwhelming wishes of the local population?

Miss Jackson

This is a matter in which the hon. Gentleman has expressed interest before. When the proposal comes before the Department, his interests and those of other people in the area will be taken into account.