§ Mr. George Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations the Prison Service has had with Dorset police authority concerning the(a) potential security risks and (b) extra costs of mooring a prison ship in Portland harbour. 
§ Miss Widdecombe
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 A. J. Pearson to Mr. George Howarth, dated 11 March 1997:
The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about what consultations the Prison Service has had with the Dorset Police Authority concerning the potential security risks and extra costs of mooring a prison ship in Portland harbour.
Discussions have been held between the Dorset police and Prison Service headquarters staff and the governor-designate of the prison ship about the operational implications of mooring a prison ship in Portland harbour. Arrangements were made by the Prison Service for representatives of the Dorset police to make a familiarisation visit to the ship in New York. Further detailed discussions are planned for later this months when key prison managers are transferred to the commissioning project team.
There have been no representations from the Dorset Police Authority concerning any extra costs to them of mooring a prison ship in Portland port.