My Lords, with the leave of the House, I would like to repeat the Answer to an Urgent Question given by my honourable friend the Minister for Prisons and Probation in the other place earlier today. The Statement is as follows:
“Mr Speaker, yesterday I attended the Justice Select Committee hearing on prison populations and confirmed that, in line with the 2016 White Paper and the 2017 manifesto, we remain committed to delivering 10,000 new prison places in order to replace the places in prisons which at the moment often have old, unsuitable and expensive accommodation.
During the committee testimony, I confirmed two things. First, we will be proceeding at Wellingborough with a publicly capital financed prison, with work to begin at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, subject to the usual test of affordability and planning. I also confirmed that at the Glen Parva site we will be continuing with the current demolition and proceeding, again subject to the normal tests of affordability and planning, to a competition for a private finance initiative for the construction of the Glen Parva prison. We will then continue to push ahead with the four subsequent prisons, bringing us to the total of 10,000 places.
In addition, we are investing £16 million in further investment and repairs in the existing estate. All of this is absolutely essential because, as the shadow Lord Chancellor is very aware, much of our estate remains old, expensive and unsuitable for prisoners, and we must move to regenerate it”.
My Lords, that concludes the Statement. But before I sit down, perhaps I may come back to the question posed by the noble Lord, Lord Rooker. I gave the figure of 93,000; it should have been 83,000.