§ Mr. Silvester
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to help end the dispute between members of the National Union of Teachers and local authorities which will result in the teachers withdrawing from the school meals service of the London Borough of Waltham Forest on 22nd November.
§ Mr. Gordon Walker
I have had a number of meetings in the past few weeks with representatives of the National Union of Teachers and the local authorities and in these meetings the differences have been steadily narrowed. I therefore deeply regret the decision of the National Union of Teachers to extend sanctions and the subsequent rejection of proposals for ending the present difficulties which were considered by the National Union of Teachers and the local authority associations last Friday. I hope that in the present economic circumstances these proposals will be considered further. I do not think that at present I can usefully intervene any further but, if the parties feel that I can do anything to bring a settlement nearer, I will be ready to help.