§ Mr. Whitelaw
I have decided that the women's open prison at Moor Court in Staffordshire should be closed by the end of this year. A welcome reduction in the women's prison population has resulted in a substantial surplus of open places for women prisoners. There is no other practicable, use for the establishment for prison purposes and its closure will release scarce resources for use where they are more needed. When other parts of the system are under acute pressure, we must use our limited resources to best possible effect. I pay tribute to the excellent work which the staff have undertaken at Moor Court and that expertise can now be deployed elsewhere in the prison service.