Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:45 am on 1st October 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:45 am, 1st October 2020

I have a nasty feeling that when my hon. Friend says “incompetent Lib Dem-run council”, he is guilty of a tautology. I have not yet come across a competently run Lib Dem council. Supporting local authorities to create sufficient school places is one of the Government’s absolute priorities. [Interruption.] I am sorry. I hope I have not upset Wera Hobhouse. We share a local authority and I do not want to be too mean about it.

I sympathise with my hon. Friend. I am sure many Conservative MPs share his pain in dealing with Lib Dem-run local authorities and their flawed approach to planning in education. We provide funding for all the places that are needed based on local authorities’ own data on pupil forecasts. This is why we have announced nearly £750 million to provide places needed for 2022. The Government’s pupil places planning advisers will work alongside councils to provide support for any local authority that fails to provide sufficient school places. We announced that Sutton local authority will receive £16.2 million to provide new school places for 2022, taking its total funding between 2011 and 2022 to £141.8 million.