§ Mr. Irving
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the cost of installing a Zuckermann wood-working machine at Frankland prison;
(2) whether the Zuckermann wood-working machine at Frankland prison has ever been used;
(3) what assessment he has made of the cost of moving the Zuckermann wood-working machine out of Frankland prison; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Mellor
The machine was purchased in 1980 at a cost of £144,000. Additional costs of £6,000 were incurred in installing it. The cost of moving the machine, which has been used only for trial periods, would be in the region of £2,000. It is now clear that the machine cannot be used effectively in prison industries and that the decision to purchase it was based on an error of judgment about the market for furniture assembly work carried out in prisons. The machine has been offered for sale by tender.
Financial and managerial performance in prison industries should be improved by the changes in control, managment and polices which my right hon. and learned Friend announced on 31 October at column 987.