HC Deb 12 February 1991 vol 185 c720
5. Mr. Bradley

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he received from Manchester city council during 1990 regarding the 1990–91 and the 1991–92 capital allocations.

Mr. Fallon

A delegation from Manchester local education authority and other representatives called on my predecessor on 4 April 1990 and the Department has also received representations in connection with individual projects submitted for the 1991–92 annual capital guideline.

Mr. Bradley

In view of the detailed representations that he has received, how does the Minister justify making a paltry capital allocation to Manchester of £5 million, compared with its realistic bid of £33 million? That decision was described by the chief education officer as a disaster for the education service in Manchester. Does not he understand the anger of parents who cannot get their children into local schools because of lack of investment? Will he receive further representations from me and the education department in Manchester to ensure that in future the Government make a capital allocation which meets the needs of local children rather than at the whim of the Treasury or of Government?

Mr. Fallon

No LEA gets all it asks for. Manchester will get £4.7 million next year, compared with £3 million this year. Manchester would have received more if it had not underestimated the number of sub-standard school places in its bid, if it had bothered to complete the required proposal forms for four further major education building projects when asked to do so and if it had published statutory proposals in respect of the Ducie high school project, which it was advised would be supported and which it has still not done.

Sir Fergus Montgomery

Does my hon. Friend agree that Manchester has below-average education expenditure? Does he find that difficult to justify, considering its high community charge of £425, which is far above the national average?

Mr. Fallon

Yes. It is rather odd that although Manchester's community charge is higher than the average for metropolitan districts, Manchester spends less than half its total budget on education.

Forward to