asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement about his refusal to see a deputation led by the hon. Member for Nuneaton about the replacement of Exhall Primary School.
My right hon. Friend received a deputation last July led by the hon. Members for Nuneaton (Mr. Huckfield) and Meriden (Mr. Tomlinson) at which the need to replace this and other primary schools was discussed. Correspondence since then has explained why the school has not yet been programmed for replacement. It is simply not possible for my right hon. Friend to find time to meet all the people who wish to talk to him about the needs of two particular schools.
Does my hon. Friend accept that this school has far more than its fair share of temporary buildings which have been standing since the last war? Does he also accept that this is probably the fastest growing part of my constituency? While appreciating that his right hon. Friend courteously received a deputation that I and my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mr. Tomlinson) brought from the National Union of Teachers, that his right hon. Friend has a very crowded diary and that the Warwickshire County Council has a rôle to play in this matter in the priorities that it allocates to school building, may I ask my hon. Friend to press his right hon. Friend to reconsider his decision? If my right hon. Friend cannot receive a deputation, will my hon. Friend receive one?
We are well aware that a great number of primary schools need urgent replacement. Therefore, we allocated £20 million in last year's school building programme for the replacement of primary schools. Within the last fortnight we have indicated to my hon. Friend's local authority that £1,787,000 has been allocated for next year's building programme. Of course, priorities will be decided by the local authority concerned. However, if my hon. Friend wants to make special representations I shall give them careful consideration.