Vandalism

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd May 1995.

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Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West 12:00 am, 23rd May 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will make a statement on the level of vandalism in schools. [23813]

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth , Mid Worcestershire

The Department for Education survey of security in schools shows that vandalism accounts for 80 per cent. of the incidents of school crime.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West

Does the Minister know that there is a serious plague of vandalism in the city of Leicester, with no fewer than 796 incidents in my constituency alone in the past financial year? Is he aware of my very useful and constructive conversation with the Secretary of State and her promise to come to Leicester to see the results of that vandalism and talk to the people on the ground? Will she be kind enough to let us know when we are likely to have the pleasure of welcoming her and whether the Department has done anything about helping schools to cope with vandalism since our conversation?

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth , Mid Worcestershire

My right hon. Friend hopes to visit very soon. When she does, I hope that she will learn from the schools affected and from the local education authority about the measures that they are taking within their remit to ensure that this serious problem is tackled. There are many possibilities open to schools and local authorities. For example, GEST funding and supplementary credit approvals may be given, single regeneration budget money may be made available and closed circuit television is proving to be very successful in reducing vandalism to zero where it was previously often pernicious. I hope that local people will describe to my right hon. Friend what they are doing to tackle this difficult problem.

Photo of Mr Jacques Arnold Mr Jacques Arnold , Gravesham

Does my hon. Friend consider it a quite extraordinary act of vandalism that the school budgets in Kent should have been shortchanged by £3.8 million by the Liberal county council—[Interruption.]

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. The hon. Gentleman must relate his question to that on the Order Paper, which is not concerned with finance. The hon. Gentleman had the chance to raise that earlier.

Photo of Mr Jacques Arnold Mr Jacques Arnold , Gravesham

Is not it a remarkable bit of vandalism that, although there is a surplus of £17 million, our schools are shortchanged?

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. The hon. Gentleman has abused the procedure. I hope that the Minister will answer according to the original question and not as widened by the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth , Mid Worcestershire

That echoes the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Stamford and Spalding (Mr. Davies), who referred to the latest act of socialist vandalism by his LEA. It seems to be an increasing but regrettable feature of some local education authorities.

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Perhaps the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) can make a better stab at it.

Photo of Mr Barry Jones Mr Barry Jones , Alyn and Deeside

Is not there a link between rampant vandalism and 16 years of Conservative Government?

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I think that that is known as a quid pro quo, and the Minister is not answering.