I am making arrangements with the Local Government Operational Research Unit of the Royal Institute of Public Administration for a study of the methods by which requirements for school places arising from population movement may be forecast. The study will be concentrated upon Scottish new towns, where the education authorities and the new town development corporations have promised their full co-operation, but I hope that forecasting techniques will be applicable to other areas of population increase and movement.
The kind of information thrown up by this study and the forecasting techniques which may emerge should be of great assistance in enabling an authority such as the West Lothian authority to make much more accurate assessments of priority of problems. The general purpose of this study is to assist education authorities in this way.
Would not the hon. Lady consider the suggestion I have already put forward that some money should be allocated to the Scottish Special Housing Association for the specific purpose of building schools in such an area as this, and would not this meet much more quickly the urgent requirements for just such an area as that in which the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) and I have an interest?
One of the difficulties with which we are faced is that for the commitments we are anxious to undertake with building programmes of all kinds, we find that the resources bequeathed to us by the late Government are not sufficient for our purpose. As the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well, he and his hon. Friends did nothing at all to encourage the technological efficiency of the building industry in Scotland, which is what we are setting our minds to do.