§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards the disposal by local education authorities of school playing fields; what information he has as to the total acreage sold, and sums raised, in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dunn
Provided the requirements of the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981 (SI 909) are met, local education authorities are free to dispose of surplus playing fields if they wish. In my Department's circular 2/81 "Falling Rolls and Surplus Places", LEAs were urged to review their plans for school provision, identifying which buildings and land should be retained and which were surplus. An authority which sells surplus assets has the benefit of capital receipts as well as of revenue savings resulting from reduced maintenance costs. In this way it can add to its resources for priority needs. Information as to the total acreage of land sold, and sums raised, is not collected by the Department.
§ Mr. John Carlisle
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information his Department collects on the number of school playing fields that have been sold for building development since the issue of his Development's circular 909 in 1982.