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Capital Building Programmes

Volume 951: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what was the target date according to the terms of circular 281/74 for announcing planning allocations of the education building programme for the following financial years, 1977–78, 1978–79 and 1979–80; and when the planning allocations were actually announced;(2) what were the target dates set out in the terms of circular 281/74 for provisional allocations of the education building programme for each following financial year, 1977–78, 1978–79 and 1980–81; and what is the actual date of the announcement of provisional allocation;(3) whether his department still operates a three-year education building programme system for building projects authorised by his Department to county councils; and whether he still announces a three-year rolling programme to individual authorities in Wales;(4) whether his Department adheres to circular 281/74 in its aim to give local education authorities progressively firmer allocations at regular intervals before the beginning of the starts year; and whether provisional allocations are announced

Provisional allocationsPlanning allocationsFinal allocation
1975–76Not issuedNot issued21st April 1975
1976–77Not issued16th December 19759th April 1976
1977–78Not issued1st September 197630th March 1977
1978–79Not issued29th July 197717th May 1978
1979–80Not issuedNot issued yet
1980–81Not yet issuedNot yet issued
The dates on which final allocations were made in respect of nursery and special education programmes were as follows:

1975–7621st April 197521st April 1975
1976–779th April 197616th December 1975
1977–7830th March 19771st June 1977
1978–7924th May 197824th May 1978

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the upper cost limit for a project to be submitted to the Education Department of his office before tender stage for a cost limit to be fixed.

There are no such cost limits at present but all major school building projects have to be submitted to the Welsh Office for approval at tender stage. This is in order to ensure con-

two and a half years before the start year, planning allocations announced one and a quarter years before starts and final allocations six months before starts, as set out in that circular;

(5) if he will publish the date of the announcement letter of building programme final allocations from his Department to county councils in Wales relating to every financial year from 1975–76 for the following capital building programmes: schools, special education and nursery education;

(6) whether Welsh Office circular 281/73 on education building programmes remains Government policy.

Circular 281/74 envisaged that school building allocations provisional, planning and final should be made known to local education authorities on a progressively firmer basis. In the event it has not proved possible as yet to implement the timetable envisaged.The announcement of allocations in respect of primary and secondary school building has been as follows:formity with the school building regulations, compatibility with global allocations and value for money.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the reason for delay in announcing building programme final allocations to county councils by his Department for personal social services, schools, special education and nursery education programmes in each year since 1975–76; and if he will make a statement.

The timetables announcing education and personal social services building allocations have been affected by the need to relate these allocations to other elements of public expenditure.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the upper and lower limits on capital projects which have to be presented to the Education Department within his office for approval for local authorities, for cost limit or for final approval.

Education building projects in the following categories have to be submitted to the Welsh Office for approval at tender stage:

  • Nursery, primary and secondary projects costing £75,000 or more;
  • Further education projects costing £25,000 or more;
  • All special education projects.
There are no cost limits as such but value for money is one of the factors taken into account by the Welsh Office.