An excellent example of supportive action was carried out last month in the form of a Question from Susan Phasey, GLAC member, to Councillor Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Adult’s Social and Health of Greenwich and Lewishal Council.
In the light of the Council’s general duty to “help deliver and sustain good
health among the prison population”. what response has Greenwich Council made to the recent report by the Independent Monitoring Board on some of the conditions at HMP
I thank Susan Phasey for her question.
The report has been circulated to the Safer Greenwich Partnership who are
arranging for the Independent Monitoring Board to present at a forthcoming
SGP meeting with the Governor in attendance.
The Council provides a recognised high quality prisons and social care offer
in HMP Belmarsh and the two other prisons as part of its statutory duties
under the Care Act. The Prisons and Social Care team highlights issues as
they come across them and works closely in partnership with the prisons
and partner agencies. This includes making recommendations as necessary
about the welfare of individual prisoners and any adaptions that might need
to be made to the prison estate.
Susan asked a supplementary question at Council’s assembly, specifically about Julian Assange on the 30th of October 2019. Watch the video for the question and answer!
Will the council bring to the attention of appropriate authorities the case of Julian Assange who was designated by the UN rapporteur for torture as being in Arbitrary Detention and a victim of psychological torture, if not physical as well, and his condition appears to have deteriorated since being in Belmarsh Prison as demonstrated in his recent court appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court. We are very seriously concerned that he is not going to get a fair trial and he may not even survive his Belmarsh stay. In your response to my initial question, in the final paragraph you state “ The Prisons and Social Care team highlights issues as they come across them and works closely in partnership with the prisons and partner agencies.” Does this mean that the council is aware of the plight of Julian Assange and his condition or have you not heard of him? It’s unclear from that response.
Thank you Mr Mayor and I thank Susan Phasey for her question, however, I think the question has nothing to do with any individuals , it would be totally inappropriate for me to have a discussion about individual prisoners and I think my answer says it all.