HC Deb 20 May 1982 vol 24 cc463-4
16. Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the usual length of time in any one post of a prison governor.

Mr. Mayhew

As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said in reply to a question by my hon. Friend on 8 April, the overriding factor in determining moves must be the operational needs of the service, and there is no usual length of time in any one post of prison governor.

Mr. Farr

While thanking my hon. and learned Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he feels that one reason for the troubles in prisons such as Gartree in Leicestershire is the fact that, since it was established 16 years ago, there have been no fewer than eight governors? Is that not a possible inducement to unrest and lack of continuity?

Mr. Mayhew

I know of the problems at Gartree to which my hon. Friend referred, but we must have regard to the overall needs of the service. Sometimes a governor must be transferred, for example to take command of another prison, as the previous governor of Gartree was transferred to take command at Brixton. It is not always possible to do that at convenient times.