§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the percentage change in real terms in funding to the Dorset local education authority since 1979.
§ Mr. Fallon
Local authorities are free to determine their own spending priorities between education and other services within the framework of the annual local authority finance settlement. Dorset local education authority's outturn expenditure in 1979–80, including the cost of higher education which in 1989–90 became the responsibility of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council was some £74 million. Its expenditure in 1989–90, the latest year for which actual spending information is available, was some £169 million. The real terms percentage change between these figures is 14 per cent.