HC Deb 23 May 1995 vol 260 cc540-1W
Mr. Byers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the estimated cost of providing a golf course at Swaleside prison on the Isle of Sheppey; what costs had been incurred when the work was stopped; what is the estimated cost of restoring the land to its original condition; what amount was spent to purchase golf clubs and balls; and how many clubs and balls were brought. [17340]

Mr. Michael Forsyth

[holding answer 3 April 1995]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Stephen Byers, dated 23 May 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the costs incurred in the abandoned project to construct a three hole golf course at Swaleside prison. I am sorry for the delay in replying to your Question. At the time of the cancellation of the project, the cost that had been incurred as a result of labour costs, plant hire and materials was £14,275. Some of the aggregate materials that had already been delivered to the site were recovered and used for construction purposes elsewhere in the prison estate. There have subsequently been cancellation costs of £8,043. Some ground work had already been carried out at Swaleside. The work to restore the land will be done by prisoners under the supervision of staff and will need no additional resources. The cost of 24 golf clubs, 150 golf balls and 200 practice balls was £709. It is hoped to recover some of this cost through negotiation with equipment suppliers. As a result of what happened at Swaleside, it has been made clear to governors that there should be no further proposals to use public funds in this way.