§ Mr. MacShane
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list by local education authority the total acreage of playing fields sold by schools in each year since 1990. 39W
§ Jacqui Smith
The tables list, by local education authority, the total area (in acres) of sports pitches that the Secretary of State has given approval to sell since Section 77 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 took effect on 1 October 1998. Before that date, this information was not collected by the Department.
Section 77 protects school playing fields by requiring local authorities to obtain the Secretary of State's consent before they dispose, or change the use, of any school playing fields. Before approving any application, the Secretary of State must be satisfied that:
- a. any sale proceeds are used to enhance sports or education facilities;
- b. the sports pitch needs of the school, and neighbouring schools, are met;
- c. there is no loss of sports facilities to the community; and
- d. there has been adequate consultation on the proposed disposal.
1 October 1998–31 December 1998 Acres Local education authority Sports pitch and approved for sale Bristol 17.16 Bury 0.31 Calderdale 3.75 Cheshire 1.60 Halton 0.53 Hillingdon 0.07 North Somerset 4.74 Warwickshire 1.65 Wirral 1.73
1 January 1999–31 December 1999 Acres Local education authority Sports pitch and approved for sale Bedfordshire 6.67 Bolton 4.58 Buckinghamshire 2.47 Cheshire 6.05 Coventry 0.16 Croydon 3.80 Derbyshire 19.58 Devon 3.60 Durham 8.15 Enfield 2.12 Essex 3.70 Hammersmith and Fulham 0.54 Hertfordshire 9.88 Kent 2.94 Lancashire 21.43 Leeds 1.23 Milton Keynes 7.65 Newcastle 28.00 North Tyneside 1.06 North Yorkshire 2.05 Northumberland 4.62 Oxfordshire 8.15 Rochdale 2.96 Sheffield 0.62 Staffordshire 0.30 Surrey 18.25 Wakefield 6.91 Walsall 3.26 Warwickshire 1.26 West Sussex 7.98 Wigan 5.12