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MoJ values Norwich Prison at £50 million - but say no decision on its future has been made

09:20 24 February 2016

Norwich Prison governor Will Styles . Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Prison governor Will Styles . Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Norwich’s historic prison has been valued at £50.5m in documents which have emerged after justice secretary Michael Gove said he was weighing up a sell-off of city centre Victorian jails.

The figure – the audited book value – was published in parliamentary documents in response to a question from Labour’s shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter.

The Ministry of Justice said the figure – which includes the prison, the land and other dwellings – was calculated as the cost of replacing existing assets with a modern equivalent and it was not the same as a commercial valuation, which would be commissioned if it were to be sold off.

Norwich city council leader Alan Waters, who is the district councillor for the ward, said people employed and associated with the prison would be interested in the figure, and said the government, Ministry of Justice and the local MP should clarify any future plans there might be for the prison.

While Norwich MP Chloe Smith said she did not think much should be read into the figures.

“I would expect every government department to know how much its property is worth, this is something you do as a matter of good management and audit.

“This information seems separate to me to the idea that has been put forward about the future of Victorian prisons.

“As Norwich prison is in my constituency I will closely monitor for any announcements.”

Her neighbouring MP, Labour’s Clive Lewis, warned against a sell-off. “£50m is lot to risk with a government that seems to be obsessed with the price of everything but cares little for the value of anything.

“If Norwich prison is sold off and is replaced by something else hundreds of miles away that would be bad for prison jobs in our city and increase the chances of inmates re-offending after release.

“There is clear evidence which shows that the more a family can see their relatives in prison, the less re-offending after release.

“That quite simply won’t be possible if relatives local to Norwich prison have to travel to remote replacements that could be in the North of England.”

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We are closing down ageing and ineffective prisons and investing £1.3bn in a modern prison estate, which provides better opportunities for rehabilitation and redemption.

“No decisions have been made about where new prisons will be built and which prisons may close.”

Do you think Michael Gove should sell off Norwich Prison? 
Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk with your full contact details or write to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

3 comments

  • A bit off the subject but can you please remove the thoroughly offensive photo of the lady wearing the white dress experiencing a personal disaster, I think we have seen it enough.

    Report this comment

    Radshenko

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

  • Sensible comment from Chloe, usual rubbish from Labour equivalent. Off course it makes good sense to know the value of all your assets. Has to be known to run good accounts. Obviously the Labour MP is still of the Labour opinion that running good accounts etc is not a good thing. It states that this is not a value for selling off the prison, so he is scaremongering as usual

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

  • Sensible comment from Chloe, usual rubbish from Labour equivalent. Off course it makes good sense to know the value of all your assets. Has to be known to run good accounts. Obviously the Labour MP is still of the Labour opinion that running good accounts etc is not a good thing. It states that this is not a value for selling off the prison, so he is scaremongering as usual

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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