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Bail Accommodation and Support Service

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many residential accommodation places are being provided by ClearSprings for (a) persons on bail and (b) offenders released early from jail in 2008-09; and how many such places they will provide in each of the next three years; (204732)

(2) what steps ClearSprings is required to take to consult local authorities before providing housing for (a) persons on bail and (b) offenders released early from jail; and how many complaints against ClearSprings for not consulting he has received;

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure that correct procedures are followed by ClearSprings to (a) inform and (b) consult local authorities before sourcing residential accommodation for housing (i) persons on bail and (ii) offenders released early from jail;

(4) pursuant to the answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 144, on what evidence he stated that Basildon council did not veto proposals by ClearSprings to purchase properties in Basildon to provide accommodation for offenders released early from prison.

ClearSprings have to date been asked by NOMS to provide 160 properties for those bailed by the courts or released from prison on home detention curfew. The Regional Offender Managers and Directors of Offender Management keep the requirement under review and will seek further provision and adjustments to the geographical spread as demand requires.

ClearSprings are required to consult the police, probation and local authorities about addresses under consideration. They give an opportunity for any concerns to be registered. If there are objections these are discussed with the Regional Offender Manager/Director of Offender Management who will make the final decision on whether to proceed with an address.

There have been a small number of complaints from or on behalf of local authorities about lack of consultation, or delay in consultation. Local authorities will not be consulted until specific addresses are under consideration.

An audit of ClearSprings' past consultation was conducted during April and the report is expected shortly.

We were wrongly advised by ClearSprings that Basildon district council had not responded to ClearSprings' approach to them about potential addresses for the service.