It was a pleasure to attend the opening of the new improvements to Holywell Town FC today with Cllr. Paul Johnson, Mayor of Holywell, Hannah Blythyn AM and Sean Elliot, Chair of Holywell Town FC. These improvements could only be secured by the community investment of Anwyl, the National Lottery Community Fund and Aura.
The improvements will allow children access to community engagement and education resources at the football club and bring added benefits to the local community.
The new Minister of State for Prisons was before the Justice Select Committee this week and I wanted to grill him on wasted taxpayer money through the privatisation of probation services.
The National Audit Office undertook a review into this failed experiment – started by the current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP – and concluded that the Ministry of Justice has had to pump £467 million into the failed project to try and stabilise them.
You can see from my questioning that the Minister and his civil servants were very uncomfortable with these questions. There is obviously still more to learn on this. The Minister tried to hide behind his belief that the taxpayer has saved money because the services are being renationalised again. But this is a completely false way of looking at things. To make a comparison, if you moved out of your house you would stop paying the rent – meaning you make a saving – but you will still need to find somewhere else to live which will cost you rent. The same can be said for rehabilitation. We may no longer be paying the private companies to undertake the work, but we will still have to undertake it ourselves. But we lose the money we spent on private firms prior to renationalisation.
This has been a failed experiment that I voted against when it was first proposed in the 2010-15 Parliament. Our money has been wasted for dogma of private good, public bad. The UK Government should be ashamed.
I have pledged his support to unpaid carers across Delyn as part of Carers Week 2019, running from 10-16 June.
Carers Week is a national awareness week that celebrates and recognises the vital contribution made by those caring unpaid for someone living with an illness, disability, mental health condition or as they grow older. Research released for Carers Week suggests there could be many more people than previously thought acting as unpaid carers to their family and friends – as many as 8.8 million adult carers across the UK.
I attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the valuable contribution carers make locally.
The seven charities driving Carers Week 2019 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by getting carers connected to practical and financial support and are calling for a step change in the way society supports those caring unpaid for family and friends. Read more “Carers Week 2019”
Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs) were introduced by the last Labour Government from 2005. They were designed to ensure that dangerous violent and sexual offenders stayed in custody for as long as they presented a risk to society. Under the system, a person who had committed a specified violent or sexual offence would be given an IPP if the offence was not so serious as to merit a life sentence. Once they had served their “tariff” they would have to satisfy the Parole Board that they no longer posed a risk before they could be released.
IPPs were abolished in 2012, but not for existing prisoners.
There were 2,403 unreleased IPP prisoners in custody in England and Wales on 31 March 2019, which is the latest snapshot of the prison population at the time of writing. Ninety-eight per cent or 2,360 of these prisoners were male. There were only 43 unreleased female IPP prisoners.
I asked the Minister a series of questions on how he would ensure that any flaws remaining in the system were rectified and balanced with the need to keep dangerous offenders off our streets. We must always put the victim at the heart of our judicial system.