HC Deb 14 March 1979 vol 964 cc432-3
5. Mr. Donald Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reply he intends giving to the letter written by the convenor of the Western Isles about Liniclat school.

Mr. Millan

I have explained to the convener of the Islands Council that I am unable at present to allocate the level of capital expenditure required for this project.

Mr. Stewart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the project for this school has the backing, which is greatly appreciated, of hon. Members of every party in the House? Is he aware also that there is general agreement in the Scottish press that this is a long-required facility for the education of the people of the islands concerned? Is he saying that funds are so short that this project, which is planned over three years, cannot be started now, even though he has given approval to it in principle?

Mr. Millan

The right hon. Gentleman is right. I have given approval in principle, but I am afraid that such approval, by itself, does not determine the priority of any particular project. Unfortunately, there are a number of other desirable projects with a higher priority than this one, which contains a large element of replacement rather than new building to meet, for example, expanding population, which is often the problem in other parts of the country.

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