§ 9. Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will introduce an educational winter works programme in order that old school toilets in Lanarkshire can be replaced; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Edward Taylor
As regards a winter works programme, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) on 5th May. Lanarkshire Education Authority is making progress with the replacement of school toilets under the normal school building programme.—[Vol. 816, c. 1359–62.]
§ Mr. Dempsey
Is the Under-Secretary aware that what is required is not the usual, normal routine works programme, but a programme of a massive character? Does he realise that primary school toilets, such as those at Rochsolloch primary school, built in 1902, still cannot be replaced because of lack of money? Would he please do something about it.
It would be wrong to give an answer on each individual school, but Lanarkshire is at present engaged on a programme of school toilet replacement amounting to £200,000. As for the future, the hon. Gentleman will be aware of the extra £4½ million of capital investment which the Government are making available for starts in 1972–73 which should enable authorities to make faster progress than at present.
§ Mr. Buchan
The hon. Gentleman will realise that we do not expect him to make a statement on every individual toilet, but in view of the derisory nature of last winter's work programme; the alarming unemployment figures, particularly among construction workers; the problem we shall face with the raising of the school 359 leaving age next year; and the fact that we are likely to have the bleakest summer in employment for years, would he not consider altering the terms so as to give us a summer works programme to deal with the situation?
The hon. Gentleman should be aware that we inherited a school building programme, and we have increased that programme by the special measures announced for primary schools. We shall shortly announce our 1973 allocations. The hon. Gentleman should await that announcement. In the few months we have been in office, we have a record to be proud of, since we have increased the programme which was announced.