§ 11. Ms Lynne
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the estimated backlog of repairs facing primary and secondary schools within the Rochdale education authority. 
§ Mrs. Gillan
It is for local education authorities and school governors to assess the need for repair work in respect of school premises that they own and maintain.
§ Ms Lynne
Is the Minister aware that, since the Labour party lost control of Rochdale borough council in 1992, the new administration has made education a top priority? I thank the Government for including St. Patrick's school in the new start programme. Will the Minister confirm that either she or the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment, the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Squire), will visit Rochdale schools to see the backlog of repairs for themselves?
§ Mrs. Gillan
I can see that this is my day for receiving invitations, and I shall be delighted to consider an invitation from the hon. Lady. I am sure that the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Employment has heard his invitation and will consider it. Like the hon. Lady, I was delighted that the Labour party lost control of Rochdale and I am delighted that the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have put education at the top of their agenda.
I thank the hon. Lady for her kind remarks about St. Patrick's, which is a voluntary-aided school and which will be transferring to a new site with a new building. The total cost of the project will be in excess of £1.1 million. The start of this major improvement was facilitated by a grant of £175,000 this year. I wish the school well with these major improvements.