Alarm at early Prison moves

CONSULTANTS have already been drafted in to oversee the potential sale of land earmarked for the controversial Dagenham prison. Mayor Boris Johnson admitted property consultants and design advisers had been appointed to give advice on the potential sale a

CONSULTANTS have already been drafted in to oversee the potential sale of land earmarked for the controversial Dagenham prison.

Mayor Boris Johnson admitted property consultants and design advisers had been appointed to give advice on the potential sale and produce early prison plans though the public consultation into the 1,500-inmate prison has not yet begun.

Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas said he was now forced to fight the plans on two fronts, against the Government, behind the category B prison proposals, and the Mayor whose London Development Agency owns the land off New Road.

Council bosses blamed the Tory Mayor for failing to reject the plans while not bringing the Olympics or the Docklands Light Railway to Dagenham.


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But Tory Simon Jones said the Labour council was trying to shift blame onto the Mayor for plans spearheaded by a Labour Government.

"We all know that if the 35-acre site is not sold directly, then Boris could be forced to sell the land to Jack Straw under a compulsory purchase order," the prospective parliamentary candidate for Dagenham said.

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Boris Johnson said: "The LDA has not entered into any legal agreements or concluded any terms or land price with the Ministry of Justice regarding this proposal.

"The LDA have, however, recently appointed property consultants to advise on any potential transaction and are procuring design advisors to assist the LDA."

London Assembly member John Biggs, said the prison plans should to be scrapped.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: "The council remains concerned that the Mayor has not demonstrated any commitment to the people of the borough that the prison should be stopped, and has done everything in his power to stop the borough receiving regeneration such as an Olympic venue or the DLR.

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