Football Pitches (All-weather Surfacing)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th March 1969.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian 12:00 am, 6th March 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what study he has made of an all-weather material as a surface for pitches, enabling schools to continue playing school foot-ball matches in adverse conditions, details of which have been sent to him; and what action he proposes to take.

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

The cost of the material in question is prohibitive for school use. All-weather alternatives to grass pitches which can be laid out at reasonable cost are described in Building Bulletin 28 Playing Fields and Hard Surface Areas, and my Department keeps itself informed about promising new developments.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

What exactly is the policy towards both all-weather facilities and floodlit facilities in schools?

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

The policy of the Department is very much to encourage all-weather playing surfaces. I should like to see some part of all playing fields with all-weather facilities. We also favour a policy of floodlighting, particularly in view of the value of this during the winter months.

Photo of Mr Charles Morrison Mr Charles Morrison , Devizes

While I apprereciate that the cost of some of this work may be prohibitive, has the Department instigated its own research into the subject?

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

The hon. Gentleman is correct. The figures are rather overwhelming and we are still recovering from the results of our first examination. It costs £150 for a seeded football pitch, £11,000 for an all-weather pitch—we want to encourage this type of facility—and £100,000 to £140,000 for the sort of pitch to which my hon. Friend has drawn attention.