Peter Aldous MP writes to Justice Secretary about decision to close of HMP Blundeston prison

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has written to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling following last week’s announcement by the Government of the closure of HMP Blundeston.

Having been informed of the decision by Jeremy Wright, Minister of Prisons, Mr Aldous immediately sought to hear first hand the concerns of staff at the prison and afterwards he spoke to Chris Grayling.

Following his meeting with staff, Peter Aldous has now written to the Secretary of State providing feedback, re-emphasing his disappointment with the decision to close the prison and seeking assurances as to how the closure is handled. In his letter, Mr Aldous made the following observations:

  • He pointed out that many staff members found out about the closure through the press and social media and has called for a review into the way in which such announcements are made.
  • He raised concerns about the evaluation process of the whole prison estate that the Ministry of Justice carried out to decide which prisons to close, pointing out that this failed to take account of:
    • The high performing and cost-effective manner in which Blundeston is run.
    • The considerable investment that has been made in the prison in the past 2 years, which is now wasted.
    • The failure to properly take account of the impact of the decision on the local economy.

  • Whilst the Government have stated that they will do all they can to avoid compulsory redundancies, seeking to redeploy staff and using the Voluntary Early Departure Scheme, Aldous has asked for details of the packages offered to be kept under review.

Mr Aldous argues that:

“Closing Blundeston is the wrong decision, which has been made following a flawed evaluation of the prison estate, which failed to take account of the outstanding work carried out there. It is imperative that all is now done to achieve the best possible outcome for those who work there and this will be the focus of my attention in the coming weeks.”

Surgeries

Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

Next Surgeries - 2018:
Lowestoft, Thursday 4th January
Beccles, Saturday 3rd February

 

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