Oral Answers to Questions — Usk Prison.

– in the House of Commons on 28th February 1922.

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Photo of Sir Charles Forestier-Walker Sir Charles Forestier-Walker , Monmouth

35.

asked the Home Secretary the amount of saving that it is estimated the closing of Usk Prison will effect; the amount of additional cost that the conveyance of prisoners to and from Cardiff to the Monmouth Assizes and to the Usk Quarter Sessions will entail; and how it is proposed to deal with remand cases?

Photo of Mr John Baird Mr John Baird , Rugby

The estimated saving is £3,420 a year, against which must be put £870 for increased cost of conveyance and separation allowances to officers, leaving a net saving of £2,550 a year. Remand cases will be sent to Cardiff or Gloucester prisons, except in cases where suitable police cells can be used. Cases for trial at Usk will be accommodated in the prison during the trial.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

39.

asked the Home Secretary whether any representations have been made to him about retaining Usk Prison (Mon.), since the recommendation to abolish the same has been made; is he aware of the great expense recently incurred in improving and bringing up to date this building, and also the provision of new accommodation for warders and other officials; is he aware of the convenience and consequent low charges of removing prisoners, etc., seeing that the quarter sessions are held in this town and the assize court near by; is he aware that the people of Cardiff are anxious to get rid of their prison; and will he give time for representation and full consideration to be given to both of these points before coming to a final decision?

Photo of Mr John Baird Mr John Baird , Rugby

Representations have been received from two urban distriet councils. In selecting prisons to be closed, consideration has to be given to the position of surrounding prisons and the Courts which commit to them, and the inconvenience which will be caused by the closing of Usk Prison is not so great as to justify any alteration in the decision. Considerable saving will be effected, as shown in my reply to the hon. Member, for the Monmouth Division. Five bungalow quarters have been provided for the staff during the present and previous financial years; but, apart from this, no exceptional expense has been incurred on this prison. No desire for the closing of Cardiff Prison has been expressed to the Home Secretary, and the Prison Commissioners are of opinion that it would, in any ease, be impossible to close it at the present time.