Prison officers could get travel costs paid

By Richard Wright

Thursday, January 31, 2013

 

CAMP Hill Prison officers who commute to work at mainland jails will have their ferry fares paid, Island MP Andrew Turner has said.

The news came from a meeting sought by Mr Turner and Parkhurst Isle of Wight Council member Richard Hollis with prisons minister Jeremy Wright to discuss the impact of Camp Hill’s closure on staff and the Island.

"The minister told us all staff were 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," said Mr Turner.

"Although that process has not finished, he hopes there will be no need for compulsory redundancies.

"One issue that a number of people have raised 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."

He said no decisions had yet been made about the future of the Camp Hill site after the closure and he would keep in touch with the minister as plans progressed.

Ben Cooper, Camp Hill Prison Officers Association (POA) branch secretary, said even if ferry expenses were met, there was a shortage of prisons within 60 minutes travel, a prison service policy for officers.

"The closest is HMP Hasler, a detention centre in Gosport, however that has a very small staff. After that it’s Winchester, but you could not get there in an hour, which would mean officers would have to move and that would hit the Island economy."

Mr Cooper said they were nearing the end of a process in which all 750 officers, across the three prisons, had been interviewed about their options.

Once the interviews are complete, the prison service will know how many staff will leave voluntarily, or move to other prisons. They will then consider compulsory relocations, followed by compulsory redundancies.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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Displaying the last 10 of 17 comments - Show All Comments

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by Mike Crowe

3rd February 2013, at 08:24:50

but? :-(

'buy'

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by Mike Crowe

3rd February 2013, at 07:57:44

Den something I have neveer understood, and no doubt never will, is why the unions want to tell a firm how they should be run, but never set up in business themselves!! Why didn't the miners buy the mines and run them? we would have a thriving coal industry now if they had. And Red Robbo, why didn't his ilk but the motor industry and run it?

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by Den Young

2nd February 2013, at 16:20:15

thats why we are in the state we are

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by Mike Crowe

2nd February 2013, at 08:04:19

A case of the unions fighting for it ;-(

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by Den Young

1st February 2013, at 23:40:30

sorry Mike but ive worked all over the place and have always had to pay my own way no wonder the finances are in a state and council taxes keep rising

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by Mike Crowe

1st February 2013, at 21:49:29

As I said Den I don't know if it applies in the Civil Service still. I was there in the 60's and the 70's, but when the Isle of Wight County Council swallowed South Wight Borough Council and moved the staff to Newport, they had travelling expenses for about two years.

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by Den Young

1st February 2013, at 21:39:32

sorry mike but still dont see why my hard earned should pay for anybodys ferry fares let alone carpets and curtains, where do i get one of these jobs? ive been missing out for the last 40 years.

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by Sarah Brown

1st February 2013, at 12:18:09

i agree with tracey
what happens if you can't get a job and have to go to one in southampton? and it only pays rubbish money? i remember my first job in southampton was ten thousand, plus shelling out on the redjet everyday didn't leave me much. been told its now £22 foot passenger?? for peak time return on redjet now? would be good to hear from other commuters their thoughts

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by Michael Fletcher

1st February 2013, at 12:01:01

and what will happen when all 3 prisons are gone? as is the "plan" by 2017

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by tracey mason

1st February 2013, at 11:48:48

For goodness sake, im an islander born and bred and we DO need some form of fixed link,i would gladly pay the same price to use it than be beholden to the greedy ferry companies that raise costs and cancel crossings on a whim, they are what is destroying the island economy, is no wonder the unemployment is the highest in the country, when people are restricted not just by cost, but by the time it takes just to get off the island, not to mention constant cancellations, i am lucky i have island employment, but i despair for the youngsters and the unfortunate ones who are losing their jobs at an alarming rate, something needs to be done here it really does

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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