HC Deb 17 July 1984 vol 64 cc163-4
10. Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to meet the leaders of the Inner London education authority to discuss the future of education in London.

Sir Keith Joseph

I have no plans to do so; nor have I been approached for such a meeting.

Mr. Dubs

Given the Secretary of State's recent decision, as exemplified in the amendments in the other place to the paving Bill, should he not discuss with the leaders of ILEA, and explain to the House, his reasons for seeking extraordinary powers over such ILEA activities as building work, maintenance and contracts, when these powers are matters of detail and are contradicted by the Government's statement on the Rates Bill that they would not seek to interfere in the minutiae of decisions?

Sir Keith Joseph

There is no reason to exempt ILEA from the powers that the Government are writing into legislation to ensure that such legislation is effective.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the reasons for taking the transitory powers is that ILEA leaders cannot be trusted to run ILEA effectively? Is not the fact that ILEA spent 50 per cent. more per pupil on heating and lighting than other authorities just one small example of its financial profligacy, which should be stopped? Should not ILEA wake up to its responsibilities?

Sir Keith Joseph

Yes, on all counts. If ILEA wishes to do so, economies can be made that would not harm education and would help Londoners.