wpradio goes to the Conservative Fringe!

Women’s Parliamentary Radio

For immediate release
October 8th 2010

Juliet Lyon CBE Women in the Prison System

Juliet Lyon CBE, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, spoke at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference on “Should there be fewer people in prison”? She believes that the numbers of women in prisons could be cut in half, without risking public safety.

Juliet says the new Women’s Centres, set up by the last Labour government after the Corston review of prisons, should be kept as “one of the most attractive and cheap solutions” compared to the cost of putting a women in prison, upwards of £45,000 a year.

She told our Executive Producer Boni Sones: “Our population of women in prisons has just mushroomed to 4,500 and over a year over 12,000 women are going into the prison system some with a stay of only six days, and that is enough to cause chaos in a women’s life. Given most of these women have a high level of mental health need, many of them are addicted or trafficked, we think there could be a much more intelligent response to their problems.

“There are now a network of Women’s Centres across the country, following the Corston review, enabling women to take responsibility for their own lives and that of their children. It seems to us that this is a solution hanging by a thread because the Centres are on time limited funding, due to run out in March next year. There are already results emerging, but because the government is now looking at payment by results, there is an interim need to make sure these Women’s Centres don’t disappear because they are working well. “

Nicola Blackwood MP Women on the frontline

The Conservative Women’s Organisation teamed up with ActionAid UK to look at the issue of “On the Frontline: Women, Peace and Conflict”. They are calling for the Conservative government to appoint an International Violence against Women Minister.

Our reporter Linda Fairbrother first spoke to panelist Nicola Blackwood MP, Chair of the All- Party Parliamentary Group on Women and Conflict, then Bobby Middleton of the European Union Women’s Organisation, Matilda Parker, from Liberia, and Dorcas Erskin, of ActionAid. Finally she caught up with Pauline Lucas, Chairman of Conservative Women’s Organisation.

Nicola told Linda: “This is a crisis situation and we need to find ways to deal with it better. It is not in the British interest to have greater insecurity abroad, and human rights abuses such as sexual violence perpetuate insecurity. If we want to achieve security in Afghanistan and North Africa, then we need to address the issue of violence against women. We need to prioritise women and gender and conflict so that we can meet our moral responsibility and the national security implications.”

Damian Green MP women and the Burka

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green MP, told a “Big Brother Watch” fringe that the government would not be banning the Burka. He said he thought such a ban would be “Un-B

He told our reporter Linda Fairbrother why, as he walked to his next talk. “I think we shouldn’t have a ban on what people wear in this Country, I think it is Un-British, we want minimal interference in people’s lives and if people want to wear something they should be given the freedom to do so. Bans are wrong and over-intrusive.”


1.Wpradio.co.uk is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. Latest web stats show that in May 2010 we had our highest audience ever with 3,913 visitors, there were over 1,000 more visitors in June and July too compared to last year and even August increased. We don’t share our content with others in order to inflate our stats, you have to visit our website to listen to our content.

2.Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item. We have doubled our audience in a year. In July we published our Top Ten podcasts for that month. The top 8 all had over 100 downloads per podcast. Shirley Williams is hugely popular with 777 listeners to one podcast! The Oona King diaries are proving popular too.

3.wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.

4.Our supporters include Theresa May MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP,and many other female politicians listed on our site. Jackie Ashley, of the Guardian, is our Chair.

5.The British Library archives all the interviews on wpradio.co.uk in its new web collection.

6.For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.

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