HC Deb 14 November 1973 vol 864 cc181-2W
Mr. Money

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will make a statement with regard to the recent fire at Tower Ramparts School annexe in Northgate Street, Ipswich; and whether, through her inspectorate, she is satisfied with the fire precaution provisions for this building.

Mrs. Thatcher

I understand that a small fire broke out at about 2 p.m. on 6th November in a building known as the Oak Lane annexe about 350 yards away from the main school premises. The authority rents the first and second floors. The fire was confined to a store cupboard; damage was small; only smoke affected the school's accommodation. The fire alarm system went off and the staff and pupils were evacuated safely within two minutes. The fire brigade arrived within four minutes. Before the school occupied the premises they were inspected by fire officers whose recommendations about installing fire resistant doors were implemented. I understand that the local fire officer is currently investigating the circumstances of this fire.

Mr. Money

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will now give her consent for the proposals for the replacement of the present Tower Ramparts School at Ipswich.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

My right hon. Friend announced last April that a project for the first phase of replacement of the Tower Ramparts School was included in the preliminary list with a view to a possible start in 1976–77. The timing of any further announcement will depend on the outcome of the consideration now being given to the rephasing of education building programmes following the Prime Minister's announcement on 8th October which gave rise to the Department's Circular 12/73. A further circular will be issued as soon as possible.