Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, is frustrated to have it confirmed that there will be no facilities for women to serve their sentences in the new prison to be built in Inverness. Highland councillors recently approved planning permission in principle for the prison to be built on a site near Inverness Retail Park with building work understood to be due to start this year.
Rhoda Grant said “The Scottish Prison Service has confirmed to me that future custodial arrangements for women from the north will remain as they are at present. Under current plans women will continue to serve their sentences in Peterhead.
“This is unacceptable in the 21st century. Women offenders need to be accommodated closer to home to allow loved ones, particularly children, to visit easily. It is neither acceptable nor right that families in the north should have to travel these distances to visit.
“I appreciate the old Inverness Prison is over 100 years old but the SPS needs to move with the times and come into this century.
Mrs Grant continued “I have contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, previously about this, and I have also now asked the Chief Inspector for Prisons to intervene to ensure there are facilities in the north for women to serve their sentences.”
After carrying out a number of constituency visits to Argyll & Bute ,Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant, took the opportunity of meeting with staff from the charity, Shopper-Aide, which is located in Campbeltown.
“I believe that Shopper-Aide is a massive asset to the Kintyre area and started as a shopping service for the elderly but it has quickly expanded and now offers housekeeping services, delivery of prescriptions and the set up of clubs such as the Elderberries Club”
“I would encourage anyone over 60 to utilise this service as it really is, a wonderful organisation and I am delighted to support it in any way that I can.
“ They are currently applying for Big Lottery Funding, which if successful will allow the charity to continue to provide the valuable services that they do.
Motion lodged by Rhoda in the Scottish Parliament
Date Lodged: 30/07/2018
That the Parliament acknowledges the efforts of all volunteers and staff involved in the Campbeltown-based charity, Shopper-Aide; understands that the charity provides valuable community resources designed to support older people to live independently at home; notes that, among the services provided, it shops for the older persons weekly needs, supports them with their domestic household chores and, at the same time, addresses the problem of growing isolation that comes from weakening health; understands that the charity also provides social events for the older person in the area, allowing them to meet and socialise with others; commends the endeavour and enthusiasm of all involved in this charity, and wishes it continued success going forward.
To see my Facebook photos click here!