POA Circulars

147 | 08.11.2012

Announcement of prison competition policy

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Rt Hon Chris Grayling) announced the outcome of competition for the management of nine prisons: Acklington and Castington (now together known as Northumberland), Coldingley, Durham, Hatfield, Lindholme, Moorland and Onley, all currently managed by the public sector, and Wolds, currently managed by G4S.

As a result of this process HMP Northumberland and the South Yorkshire group of Moorland, Hatfield and Lindholme prisons will proceed to the next stage with three remaining bidders, Sodexo, Serco and MTC/Amey before contracts are awarded next year. This is a disgraceful decision.

HMPs Coldingley, Durham and Onley remain in the public sector with the Wolds - currently managed by G4S being renationalised when the current contract expires in July 2013.

Whilst the Ministerial statement may not have been as clear cut as members would have liked, it has set out the future for the Service in England and Wales.

The following is an extract from Steve Wagstaffe comments;
“Whilst our individual bids were not successful, the approach we developed has persuaded the Secretary of State to change the nature of the competition model. This provides us with the opportunity to secure the future of HM Prison Service with core custodial work retained in the public sector and an end to the current model of individual prison-by-prison competitions”.

This is also an extract from NOMS Chief Executive Michael Spurr;
“Today’s announcement sets out a new approach to improving performance and reducing costs across the prison estate. It gives us an opportunity to end individual prison-by-prison competitions and secure the long term future of HM Prison Service”.

Today’s announcement will have to be carefully considered by the POA Executive, branches and members in the forthcoming days and weeks ahead.

The effects of competition benchmarking will impact on all prisons, but we need to evaluate the impact and ensure all prisons remain Safe, Secure and Decent.

On behalf of the Executive, we would like to thank all members for their professional approach during this difficult and demanding process.

Meetings are being arranged with NOMS, Government Officials and the Secretary of State to discuss the future of the prison service. Further updates will be promulgated in due course.

We would be grateful if you could promulgate this circular to all your members.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.


Yours sincerely


Steve Gillan
General Secretary 


Yours sincerely


PJ McParlin
National Chairman