Dinner on us

Hindley Prison
Hindley Prison

TAXPAYERS are funding restaurant-style food for inmates at Hindley Prison, says a leading pressure group.

Roast salmon, lamb pasanda and bramley apple Quorn sausages are among meals being served up, and the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TA) says such lavish dishes are not necessary, and a waste of money.

Menus obtained by the Wigan Evening Post revealed a huge variety of dishes – from the plain to the exotic – being cooked up by chefs at the Hindley penal centre.

TA campaign manager Robert Oxley said: “Prisons should focus on providing inmates with simple, nutritious meals, instead of trying to give them the impression they’re dining out at a top restaurant. Taxpayers have tightened their belts this year, so the cost of festive catering for prisoners will be a difficult bill to swallow.

“We don’t expect inmates to serve their time eating only porridge, but it is unfair that taxpayers are funding treats for inmates that they can’t afford for themselves.”

Using Freedom of Information laws, the Wigan Evening Post obtained menus for Hindley Young Offenders’ Institution last Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Royal Wedding day.

from roast turkey with all the trimmings, roast salmon with parsley butter, or bramley apple quorn sausages. There was also pudding and mince pies for dessert.

A cooked breakfast and soup were also on the Christmas Day menu.

On Easter Sunday, inmates had a selection of sandwiches with crisps and a yoghurt for lunch followed by lamb pasanda or fish cakes for dinner, and cake for dessert.

On Royal Wedding day, the sophisticated menu offered a cooked breakfast, followed by a lunch of sandwiches or soups with fruit and biscuits.

The dinner menu included battered cod with sauteed potatoes, pasta carbonara or a jacket potato with tuna.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that other prisons in the North West had similar menus.

All jail chefs offered a turkey dinner with festive pudding or mince pies for Christmas last year, the menus show.

Styal and Risley celebrated Easter by offering inmates crème eggs for dessert.

Buckley Hall went a step further, offering an all-day breakfast for Christmas Day lunch, with turkey and Jamaican-style chicken options for dinner.

Prisoners there also enjoyed celebration cake on the Royal Wedding bank holiday.

In October 2010, it was announced that across the UK, prisoners were to be offered a minimum of five choices per meal per day.