POA Circulars

59 | 31.03.2011

Announcement of Public Sector Bids

The POA have condemned the decision to give HMP Birmingham and HMP Featherstone 2 (new build) to the Private Sector to run, namely G4S.

Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the POA stated:

“This is a disgraceful decision. Prisons should not be run for the benefit of shareholders nor for profit.  The State has a duty to those imprisoned by the Criminal Justice System and this Coalition Government have betrayed loyal Public Sector Workers for their friends in the Private Sector”.

The POA have already launched a judicial review regarding the consultancy of former prison Director General Mr Phil Wheatley being employed by G4S.

This announcement by the Coalition Government comes after a Market Testing process, which lasted nearly two years and involved bids from various Private Sector firms including Serco, G4S, and Sodexo along with the Public Sector bid by NOMS.

Colin Moses, National Chairman, went on to say:

“Both a Labour Government and now this Coalition Government have demonstrated their love affair with the Private Sector. This decision is wrong and immoral.  The POA will continue with its long campaign against Private Prisons”.

The announcement by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke to give HMP Birmingham and HMP Featherstone 2 (new build) to the private sector is nothing but a disgraceful act.  Whilst the Executive welcome the decision to retain Buckley Hall in the public sector, we should not underestimate the impact this decision will have on all POA members and their families at Birmingham.

On 24th March 2011, the NEC promulgated POA Circular 52/2011 and the Executive now instruct all branches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to hold a lunch time meeting on Friday 1st April to inform members of his decision.  Furthermore, all local POA officials will remind members of the current policies of the Union at that meeting.

Members of the NEC will attend the Ministry of Justice today to discuss the impact of the announcement while Steve Bostock, National Vice Chairman is currently at HMP Birmingham with other members of the Executive and Tom Robson National Vice Chairman is at Buckley Hall with members of the Executive as well.

We are sure that all branches of the Union will offer their support to our colleagues at Birmingham who have lived with uncertainty for many months and now face the reality of working for the private sector.

The NEC have a strategy and this will be enacted in the forthcoming days.  We urge all POA officials to encourage members to support this Union.

A copy of the Press Release sent today is attached for your information.

Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation.



Yours sincerely

General Secretary



Yours sincerely

National Chairman