Further to the announcement that Camp Hill prison will be closing as part of the Government’s shakeup of prisons, this in from Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner’s office, in their own words, Ed
The Island’s MP Andrew Turner and the Councillor for Parkhurst Richard Hollis this week met the Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright MP, to discuss the impact that the closure of the Camp Hill Prison site will have on individual staff and the Island’s economy.
Mr Turner arranged the meeting after discussions with staff representatives and the prison’s new Governor Andy Lattimore. He took the opportunity to raise a number of issues of concern to the staff and ask about future plans for the site.
Ferry fares to be included in cost calculations
Mr Turner said, “The Minister told us that all staff are being interviewed to find out what options they will consider; moving to another prison, voluntary early departure with an enhanced payment or commuting to work to a mainland prison. Although that process has not yet finished he is hopeful there will be no need for compulsory redundancies on the Island. One concern for a number of people is that if they decide to commute to a mainland prison their ferry fares will not be covered.
“Although this would be looked at on an individual basis, I have received assurances that ferry fares would not be excluded from travel cost calculations. There were a number of other issues raised during the meeting and I will be going back to those affected to let them know the answers I have received.
“No decisions have yet been made about the future of the site – but I will be keeping in touch with the Minister as any plans progress”.
Cllr Hollis commented, “It was emphasised to the Minister that the loss of Camp Hill Prison is extremely sad as the prisons are very important to the Island; they have provided a major source of regular employment for a very long time and there is no obvious alternative source of employment on the Island.
“Turning to the use of prison land, I pointed out that there is a lot of unused land surrounding the prisons and there seems little point in blighting it by the construction of two huge Wind turbines nearby”.