MINUTES


HMP BURE LIAISON COMMITTEE


28 JANUARY 2010

9.30 AM – TRAINING DEPARTMENT, FORMER RAF COLTISHALL SITE

Present:    

Cllr Mike Adams – Scottow Parish Council
Steve Blatch – Strategic Director – Development, NNDC
Sandra Bush – PA to Steve Blatch, NNDC (taking minutes)
Paul Cawkwell – Governor, HMP Bure
Cllr Keith Childerhouse – Coltishall Parish Council
Sapphire Coote – Ormiston Trust
Cllr Nigel Dixon – Norfolk County Council
David Hayman – Norfolk County Council
Cllr Ted Nichols – Buxton with Lamas Parish Council
PS Gary Read – Norfolk Constabulary
Cllr Barbara Rix – Broadland District Council
Cllr Spencer Whalley – North Norfolk District Council
Cllr Cath Wilkins – North Norfolk District Council
Cllr Simon Woodbridge – Leader, Broadland District Council

        Action
1.    ApologiesApologies were received from Chris Hill, Councillor Alan Mallett, Cllr James Carswell and Cllr Penny Bevan-Jones.  Round table introductions were made.  Context – Steve Blatch explained that following some local public concerns over the announcement that HMP Bure was to be a sex offender prison, the Council has worked with the prison and the local community to establish a liaison group to help build community relations in order to address local concerns and issues.Election of Chair – it was proposed and agreed that Cllr Nigel Dixon be elected Chair of the HMP Bure Liaison Committee and Cllr Spencer Whalley as Vice-Chair.    

2.    Terms of ReferenceThe previously circulated Draft Terms of Reference were amended to reflect that the three County Councillors serving the area be invited to attend meetings of the Liaison Committee. The Terms of Reference were agreed.  Sandra to circulate final document.    SJB

3.    Update from Paul Cawkwell, Governor of HMP BurePaul read from his circulated report (copy attached) and a question and answer session followed.Paul said that the prison could not receive any more offenders until Phase 2 came on stream at the end of March although they could squeeze in about another 9 if asked.  The prison runs a slightly different regime to any other prison in the country.  It has no industrial workshops and a typical prisoner timetable includes education, doing domestics, PE, diet advice, time dedicated to attending dedicated offender programmes and LSC driven activities.  The educational programmes focus on basic skills, vocational work and on establishing businesses.  The aim is to provide offenders with work base skills in anticipation of their release which can be difficult with this type of offender as they often have difficulty gaining employment .Re visitor transport to the establishment, visitors are encouraged to use a coach service from Norwich Railway and Bus Stations provided by the prison.  Concern was expressed by local members of the community that the coach was not sticking to the agreed route and was travelling through Hautbois.  Paul to take up with Smiths, the contractor.It was commented that some prisons such as Wayland undertake local tasks such as printing village signs, printing village newsletters etc and asked if that was something that could be done at HMP Bure?  Paul said that the prison has no workshops but is keen to actively explore how it can develop links with the local community and reported that the prison employs a number of apprentices to undertake work such as horticulture.  It may be that some of these young people, who are working towards an NVQ could help out in the community as under 18’s are not allowed to work inside the prison fence.  Paul reported that stage 1 of the prison is complete and stage 2 is underway which also includes a memorial garden currently being developed by the contractor but the apprentices are not intended for that purpose.  The group expressed an interest in hearing a presentation on the type of behavioural work undertaken at the prison and information about prisoner routines, work and training.  Paul said he was happy to organise this for the next meeting.Cath Wilkins said that there has been some recent press coverage over the remainder of the Coltishall site and was concerned that information wasn’t being fed back to the community and asked whether this should form part of discussions at this Liaison Committee.  It was pointed out that local parish council representatives sit on the Coltishall Taskforce group as well as a representative from CETAG who were able to provide the relevant feedback.  Steve said that the Coltishall Taskforce group will continue to meet and liaise with the Ministry of Justice over the use of the remainder of the former RAF Coltishall site to which a further meeting is planned in March to discuss progress re the Masterplan.  It was felt that this group needs to focus on the prison and the remainder of the site to be dealt with by the Taskforce.  Paul said that the prison has no further interest in the remainder of the site but felt as part of a review of all prison service assets that consideration would be given to whether more intensive use could be made of the current site.  He therefore felt that an approach would be made in the future in respect of looking to provide more accommodation on the site, inside the fence.  Paul said that this prison is more secure than other category C prisons with cameras, alarms and lighting on the perimeter.Paul explained that once works to Phase 2 were completed in March the prison would no longer make use of the gate access from the Tunstead Road – all access would be via Hautbois Road and Jaguar Drive.  The main gate would then service the balance of the former airfield site.Cllr Adams expressed some concerns about people being reintroduced into the local community.  Paul explained that Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements are in place for some offenders and all sex offenders would come under MAPPA.  For those on life sentences, the Parole Board will decide when they can move from a secure to an open facility to back in the community. This will be under escort, following a risk assessment into a major economic centre and not towns such as Aylsham or North Walsham.It was also suggested that it would be good to receive a presentation from Polly Kane, Norfolk Offender Strategy Officer regarding MAPPA and the rehabilitation of offenders back into the community.It was also reported that some local people had made comment about some floodlights that may be causing some light pollution along the edge of the field along Jaguar Drive.  Paul to follow up on this. It was asked whether the group had any views about one of the proposed meetings taking place in the evenings so that more people could attend.  Cllr Dixon said that attendance can be assessed as we go along to see who is unable to attend.  It was agreed to keep the meetings arranged as planned for now.PS Gary Read reported that there have been no requests for the Police to attend the prison so far, as well as no one escaping and no one set free and commented that the chances of any violence at the facility are pretty slim.  He did not currently have any concerns and said that there has only been a minor effect in the community.  He reported that there will be an investigative officer for crime allocated to the prison but there was not a need for this to be a full time position.  He said that there are sufficient procedures in place at the prison and was impressed with the whole set up.    PCPCPC

4.    Signage of prison from B1150 at Coltishall and ScottowIt was pointed out that there was currently no signage for the prison on the B1150.  Sapphire said that someone had reported that one of the prison signs has been taken away and wanted to check the views of the local parish councils on whether they wanted signage.  Scottow PC stated that they have no objections to this.  Some visitors travel to the prison independently, as well as on a professional capacity so it would be good to have signage in Coltishall as well as on the B1150.  Paul said he would be amenable to putting signs where the local community/highway authority wanted them.  Paul to speak further to Steve and David re contacting the right person at the County Council.      PC/SMB/DH

5.    Questions / IssuesAll covered earlier.    

6.    Any other businessSapphire reported that  visitors have noticed and commented that the level of security at the prison is similar to that of a category B prison.  The group commented that a presentation from the Ormiston Trust would be good at a future meeting.Sandra to prepare minutes and circulate draft for comments within 7 days with a further 7 days for comments before forwarding to parish councils.A discussion took place about the sewerage system and whether the prison has sole use of the private system; with concerns being expressed that the residential estate was now connected to the Aylsham STW.  Concerns were particularly expressed about volumes of foul water passing through pipes through Buxton and Lamas and the potential environmental risks if sewage was to contaminate the River Bure.  Paul confirmed that prison sewage was being treated at a private facility.  This issue was recorded and to be carried forward for discussion at a future meeting.  With regards to the remainder of the airfield site, the issue of foul water drainage and treatment will need to be pursued with Lambert Smith Hampton, acting agents for the MoJ.It was noted that there was not representation on the Liaison Committee for local resident’s associations.  After a discussion it was agreed that any issues arising from them could be fed through relevant parish councils.Regarding the wind turbine and plans for Partnership for Renewables to install a test on the site, SMB said that it was normal for a test mast to be installed first so that recordings can be made.  Steve said that planning conditions can be negotiated, but would take back and arrange for an email to be sent to the renewables company asking them to also include Coltishall Parish Council in any future correspondence.     SCSJBSMB

7.    Dates and times of future meetings§    Thursday, 29 April 2010 – 9.30 am – Training Dept, former RAF Coltishall site§    Thursday, 22 July 2010 – 9.30 am – Training Dept, former RAF Coltishall site§    Tuesday, 19 October 2010 – 9.30 am – Training Dept, former RAF Coltishall site