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Prison Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the range and provision of education to prison inmates; and what type of work is made available in prisons. [20961]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 10 December 2001]: All prisons must provide a core curriculum of basic skills, life and social skills and information technology skills. The main thrust of education in prisons is to provide opportunities for offenders to attain a range of nationally recognised qualifications up to level 2, which will enhance their employability on release. We are encouraging the integration of basic skills across prison regimes in areas such as physical education, kitchens, vocational training (VT) workshops and arts and crafts classes. Provision is also made for those with higher levels of ability, for example through distance learning.

Prisoners are employed in a range of work-related activities which include: industry workshops supplying goods and services for the Prison Service and outside commercial contractors and catering, cleaning, works and garden parties providing services within each establishment. Industries and training workshops offer prisoners opportunities to learn job skills and to achieve nationally recognised qualifications, such as NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) and construction awards. VT courses cover a wide range of learning areas such as, catering, industrial cleaning, construction skills, motor mechanics, engineering, hairdressing, and manufacturing.


Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letters of 14 August and 3 October from the hon. Member for Putney on behalf of his constituent Ms Saeeda Dualeh Jibril (Ref. O 128662). [16767]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 26 November 2001]: I wrote to my hon. Friend on 18 December 2001. I am extremely sorry for the delay in replying.


Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent guidance he has issued to police forces on the handling of travellers and traveller encampments. [21728]

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Mr. Denham [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) provides operational guidance to police forces on powers to direct travellers or other trespassers to leave land when the appropriate statutory requirements are met. The guidance is kept under regular review.

Research has been conducted to review the effectiveness of the current Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)/Home Office Good Practice Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping. A summary of the findings was published by the DTLR on 2 November and a copy placed in the Library.

Blantyre House

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the report on allegations of bullying at Blantyre House will be published before the end of the year; [21843]

Beverley Hughes: I am unable to provide a list of the people interviewed as part of this investigation. This is because all witnesses are assured that their participation in, and any information resulting from, interviews during the course of a prison service disciplinary inquiry is treated in the strictest confidence. However, these allegations are being thoroughly investigated. The report into allegations of bullying will be completed by the end of the year and submitted to the commissioning authority in the new year. It is not intended to publish the report.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budget was for education at Blantyre House in (a) 2001 and (b) the preceding three years. [21842]

Beverley Hughes: The education budget for Blantyre House for the period 1997 to 2001 was:



(17) Actual spend

(18) Projected budget

During the period 1999 to 2000 the actual spend included one-off provision of information technology equipment for a new course.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours were spent by inmates at Blantyre House in colleges of further education outside the prison in 2001; and what the figures were in (a) 2000 and (b) 1999. [21841]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested can only be collected by manual collation of the data from prisoner records and databases and would be at a disproportionate cost. However, 21 prisoners at Blantyre House attended college in 1999–2000, 12 attended in 2000–01, and eight

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are attending in 2001–02. Details of hours spent by these prisoners on courses at further education colleges is not collected.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many resignations there have been by members of staff at Blantyre House in the last 12 months; and if he will list them. [21840]

Beverley Hughes: One member of staff, a plant attendant, resigned and was re-engaged as an Operational Support Grade. There have been no other resignations of Prison Service in the last twelve months. Teaching staff are provided under contract by the Kent Adult Education Service. During the last twelve months one full time tutor and one sessional tutor provided to Blantyre House under this contract have resigned from their employment.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio of short-term to long-term inmates at Blantyre House is; and what the ratio was in (a) 2000 and (b) 1999. [21839]

Beverley Hughes: Blantyre House only accepts prisoners with a minimum length of four years, and all its prisoners are therefore classified as long-term. This was also the case in 1999 and 2000.

It may be, however, that the hon. Member is interested in any change in periods prisoners have left to serve when coming to Blantyre House. To maximise the numbers of prisoners who can benefit from the resettlement opportunities available at Blantyre House, the establishment is now accepting prisoners with a minimum of two years left to serve, which is shorter than was formerly the case. In order to maintain a balance in the population, however, the number of life sentence prisoners held there is being increased. Historical data on the lengths of sentence remaining to prisoners at Blantyre House are not available.

Police Funding

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the percentage change in funding allocation to each police authority per head of resident population in each police authority between 2001–02 and 2002–03. [21703]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The percentage change in provisional grant allocation for 2002–03 compared with 2001–02 to each police authority per head of resident population is given in the table. Grant allocation includes Home Office Police Grant, Revenue Support Grant (from DTLR), National Non Domestic Rates, Crime Fighting Fund allocations and, where applicable, rural policing fund grants. The 2002–03 allocations given here are provisional.

In 2002–03 the costs for National Crime Squad/National Criminal Intelligence Service will be paid directly from the centre rather than by the previous system of levies on police authorities. To provide a realistic comparison of funding for 2002–03 against 2001–02 provision for the NCS and NCIS levy has been deducted from the total allocation for 2001–02.

Resident population is one of a number of indicators used in the calculation of the police funding formula. Details of the indicators and their relative value in determining the allocation for individual forces are set out

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in The Provisional Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2002–03, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Police forceGrant funding per head 2001–02 (£)Grant funding per head 2002–03 (£)Percentage change
Avon and Somerset100.55105.034.46
City of Londonn/an/an/a
Devon and Cornwall100.17105.325.14
Dyfed Powys102.47107.164.57
GLA all functions261.31275.435.40
Greater Manchester139.38145.774.58
North Yorkshire91.8195.884.44
North Wales106.86111.023.90
South Wales122.54128.644.98
South Yorkshire125.13129.173.22
Thames Valley93.9198.484.87
West Mercia90.1293.653.92
West Midlands139.62144.643.59
West Yorkshire128.84133.403.54


1. The Corporation of the City of London have grants calculated as a local authority with wider functions than police. The principal police grant is given in the Provisional Police Grant Report.

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