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Secondary Education (North-East Lancashire)

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussion she has had with representatives of Lancashire county council concerning the reorganization of secondary education in the various districts of north-east Lancashire.

:My right hon. Friend and I have twice met representa- tives of Lancashire county council in recent months to discuss issues related to secondary reorganization in the county, and officials are in regular contact with the education authority on this matter.

:Is my hon. Friend aware that there is great concern in Rossendale about the attitude of the Lancashire county council, particularly in the light of what happened in the neighbouring authority of Burnley? Is she aware that many people think that the Lancashire county council is misrepresenting the position to her Department and misrepresenting the DES position to the people of Rossendale and Burnley? In view of that, will my hon. Friend meet a delegation in order that the matter may be put straight?

I share my hon. Friend's impatience to see reorganisation in Rossendale, and I am pleased that the authority has reconvened the working party with which it is having discussions. I saw a number of delegations, which put to me a case with regard to Burnley, and I am more than willing to see delegations from my hon. Friend's constituency to discuss problems in that area.

:May I express my appreciation to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for meeting a delegation from Bolton council and indicating to it that it was high time it went about implementing the scheme that it had submitted to her? Does my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary agree that in future the Department should keep a weather eye open to see that authorities that submit plans also provide the means by which those plans can be carried out, including the appointment of staff in due time?