HC Deb 24 March 1998 vol 309 c105W
Mrs. Ann Cryer

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make representations to Bradford Metropolitan District Council not to sell off a section of the Boiling Road School playing field in Ilkley for housing development. [25639]

Mr. Byers

[holding answer 12 February 1998]: I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State currently has no powers to intervene in the disposal of school playing fields owned by local education authorities (LEAs), unless pupils would no longer have access to the minimum areas prescribed in the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1996. During the Commons Report stage of the School Standards and Framework Bill, an amendment was accepted which will, when enacted, prevent local authorities from disposing of school playing fields without the prior consent of the Secretary of State. In the meantime, the Government expect local education authorities to take fully into account the sporting and recreational needs of local schools and communities before disposing of any playing field.