POA Circulars

171 | 20.11.2013

Prison Competition

In July 2011, the Ministry of Justice announced that HMP’s Lindholme, Moorland, Hatfield, Wolds, Acklington, Castington, Durham, Onley and Coldingley were to go through the competition process as part of the Government’s Privatisation Strategy.

On the 8th November 2012, following consideration of the bids, the Government announced that four of the prisons were to be privatised. The Government excluded public sector bids and allowed Serco, MTC/Amey and Sodexo to proceed to the next stage.

Following the merger of HMP Castington and HMP Acklington, HMP Northumberland will transfer to the private sector later this year.

HMP’s Moorland, Hatfield and Lindholme, also known as the South Yorkshire Cluster, will remain in the public sector whilst the bid process has been placed on hold, following the decision in May to investigate alleged irregularities of contracts by two private sector providers.

On the 12th July 2013 the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, said that the decision on the Yorkshire Cluster would be delayed until these investigations had been completed.

Despite repeated questions to the Justice Secretary, he has been unable to provide a timetable for the investigation to be completed. This has created significant operational difficulties for the prisons in the South Yorkshire Cluster, resulting in the requirement of detached duty and possible re-profiling to enable the establishments to maintain their operational status.

The NEC has taken every opportunity to press NOMS, the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentarians on this issue. To date no decisions have been made as to whether these prisons remain in the bid process or stay in their rightful place, the public sector.

The vacuum of the 2011 decision to market test prisons, and the delays caused by the Serious Fraud Office investigations into Serco’s contracts with Government, have left all three establishments without direction, focus or future.

This is simply unacceptable!

As a result of this debacle, these prisons can now only operate with the use of payment plus, additional hours and detached duty.

On the 13th October 2013 the NEC determined to ask all of the members working in the South Yorkshire Cluster to contact their MP’s and outline the operational difficulties they face and the impact the delay is causing on their families.

All constituents are permitted to seek a meeting with their Member of Parliament. The NEC urge all members at these establishments, and any other establishment that is affected by this delay, to use the attached “sample letter” to contact and arrange a face to face meeting with their MP.

The South Yorkshire Cluster of prisons are situated within the Don Valley constituency held by Labour MP, Caroline Flint. The NEC would urge all members to contact her directly. 

Although it is clear that members working in the Cluster will have a wider geographical range of MP’s, in order to assist members in contacting their MP the following information provides details and addresses.

Don Valley Caroline Flint
Doncaster Central Rosie Winterton
Doncaster North Ed Miliband
Brigg and Goole Andrew Percy
Bassetlaw John Mann

Constituency Contact Addresses

Rt Hon Caroline Flint
Meteor House,
First Avenue,
Tel: 01302 623330
Fax: 01302 775099

Rt Hon Ms Rosie Winterton
Doncaster Trades,
19 South Mall,
Tel: 01302 326297
Fax: 01302 342921

Rt Hon Edward Miliband
Hutton Business Centre,
Bridge Works,
Tel: 01302 875462

John Mann
68a Carlton Road,
S80 1PH
Tel: 01909 506200
Fax: 01909 532447



If any member from any other establishment has been ordered to go on detached duty to any of these prisons, they should also contact their MP’s. If any member needs information in relation to their MP, and how to contact them, please contact Steve Lewis (the Unions Research Officer) on research@poauk.org.uk, where he will provide you with the necessary details.

The fight to retain all prisons within the public sector continues and to this end it is vital that members set out their concerns to their MP’s to ensure issues are raised at the highest level.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation on this vital issue.

Yours sincerely

Steve Gillan
General Secretary

Dear MP draft letter.docx

docx, 14.9K, 20/11/13, 53 downloads