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July 2016 — AGM and Michael Gove MP

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the All-Party Group on Penal Affairs, held on 12 July 2016 in Room A, I Parliament Street. Full minutes of the meeting, including the presentation by the former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, will be published in due course.


Lord Ramsbotham (in the Chair)
Lord Bradley
Sarah Champion MP
Lord Fellowes
Edward Garnier MP
Kate Green MP
Dominic Grieve QC MP
Earl of Listowel
Lord McNally


Lord Bowness
Baroness Healy
Lord Judd
Bishop of Rochester and Prisons


Lord Ramsbotham asked for the meeting’s patience whilst the group’s AGM took place.

The first task was to elect the Co-Chairs, himself and the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP.  He asked whether anyone had any objections to their continuing in their roles. There being none, they were duly re-elected. The next task was to consider the nominations for the Vice-Chairs: Sarah Champion MP; Sir Edward Garnier MP; Kate Green MP; and Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP had all agreed to be nominated once more, representing all parties. There being no objections, they were all duly re-elected. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, the Secretary, had also indicated his willingness to be re-nominated. There being no objections, he too was re-elected.

This year there was a requirement to report on the accounts. The income and expenditure statement for the reporting year had been approved by the officers, and paper copies had been distributed. Any questions could be addressed to the Clerk. There being no objections, the accounts were confirmed.

This would be the last meeting for Juliet Lyon, the distinguished director of the Prison Reform Trust. He expressed the appreciation of the whole group in thanking Juliet very much for all she had achieved, and in wishing her well for the future. Her successor, Peter Dawson, had governed High Down prison with great distinction, and he was sure that, together with the new Chairman, James Timpson, the Prison Reform Trust was in safe hands. He thanked the PRT for their support for this group. Thanks were also due to Mark Day, Clerk to the group, to Julia Braggins who took the minutes.

Particular thanks were due to the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which funded the work of the group. Earlier that day, he had launched the report of the Link-worker Scheme in Leeds Prison, on acquired brain injury. This too had been funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which supported a great deal of work in this field.

He concluded by saying how glad he was that the Secretary of State had had the opportunity to address the group. Many of us had appreciated his work in this complicated field. Lord McNally added that the Secretary of State was hoping to publish Charlie Taylor’s report before the House rose for the summer – although much would depend on what happened over the next 48 hours.  He hoped that members would read the report as the start of a process not the end of one. To achieve the objectives outlined would require the efforts of everyone.

Juliet Lyon added that the latest copy of Prison: the facts, sponsored by the Bromley Trust, was available for all interested members.

Lord Ramsbotham again apologised for a short meeting, and declared the AGM formally closed.