§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will take steps to prevent the disposal for development of playing fields owned by(a) local authorities, (b) companies and (c) other bodies. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Under current legislation local authorities only need the consent of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions to a disposal of land at less than open market value. However, the Government intends to ensure that those playing fields which schools and their communities need are not sold in future. My right hon. Friends, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and the Secretary of State for National Heritage are discussing this as a matter of urgency, looking at a wide range of options.