Thursday, 27 November 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP secures confirmation that Felmores Bail Hostel can be moved if alternative location can be found 

Stephen Metcalfe, Local Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock has today met with the Minister for Prisons, Andrew Selous MP to discuss his ongoing concerns around the Felmores Bail Hostel, also known as an Approved Premises (APs).

In an act of tri-partisan cooperation, Stephen also invited local council representatives from both Labour and UKIP to ensure that all involved work together to address residents’ concerns. However it was very disappointing that UKIP choose not to attend leaving some residents unrepresented at the meeting.

At the meeting the Minister reiterated the commitment that Stephen received from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) 3 years ago, namely that if an alternative site with relevant planning permission could be found then the Ministry would move the Bail Hostel.

The Minister explained the value of Approved Premises (APs), pointing out that it was better to know where serious criminals were when they were released on license from prison, rather than just releasing them in to the community. While at the premises residents can be assessed and are subject to curfews and restricted in where they can go and who they can meet - these controls would be more difficult without APs.

However, he did accept that placing APs in the right location was always a challenge.

The Minister also praised the work that Mr Metcalfe has done on this issue over the years, saying: “Stephen has been completely consistent on this issue and has worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents, ensuring that the MoJ meet its commitment to move the premises if a suitable alternative with relevant planning permission can be found.”

He went on to encourage all present to look for alternative locations and work together on behalf of those they represent.

Stephen said: “It was a productive meeting and I am grateful to the Minister for confirming the department’s earlier commitment. I now hope that those on the Local Council will work together to identify a suitable site, following which I will make sure the MoJ keeps its promises.”