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Education Facilities (Wellingborough)

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 12 October 2006

10. What plans there are for additional educational facilities to serve new housing development in Wellingborough East. (92868)

It is a pleasure to respond yet again to the hon. Gentleman, who is in his usual place, asking me the same old question. Planning for new schools is undertaken locally by local authorities and Ministers have no role in the process. We have not been approached by Conservative-controlled Northamptonshire county council for a new Wellingborough school but my officials have made inquiries and two new primary schools are being considered as part of the development of east Wellingborough.

I think I thank the Minister for that reply. However, he knows that the Government plan to build 167,000 homes in Northamptonshire, with many thousands in my constituency, yet there does not seem to be a proper plan for education. Given that the Government demolished a secondary school in my constituency when we had a Labour-controlled county council, my constituency is concerned about the Government’s plans.

The hon. Gentleman continues to raise the concern; he is clearly preoccupied with it. I think that he needs help from his friends in Northamptonshire who have the power to develop the matter. As the new housing developments are planned, we provide the money that is necessary to educate the children, but the hon. Gentleman’s friends on Northamptonshire county council have to make the plans.