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Assembly slam prison scheme

PUBLISHED: 13:15 23 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 August 2010

PLANS for a titan prison in Dagenham have been slammed by the London Assembly after a motion was put forward asking the Mayor to reject the plan. The motion, which opposes the construction of a category B prison for 1,500 inmates on the former Ford site i

PLANS for a titan prison in Dagenham have been slammed by the London Assembly after a motion was put forward asking the Mayor to reject the plan.

The motion, which opposes the construction of a category B prison for 1,500 inmates on the former Ford site in Beam Park, was agreed unanimously at an Assembly meeting in City Hall on Wednesday last week.

Cross-party members protested at the Ministry of Justice's plans to erect the building without properly consulting residents.

Conservative member Andrew Boff drafted the paper, which was amended by Liberal Democrat Mike Tuffrey AM and Labour member John Biggs AM, calling for alternative regeneration proposals for the region.

The anger is mainly directed at the lack of public consultation.

Another concern was that Dagenham would only be known for the prison when it 'needed a more positive kind of regeneration.'

John Biggs said: "This proposal affects a community that for too long has felt like a dumping ground for London's problems."

Andrew Buff said the prison would muscle out other much-needed proposals, which would meet the aspirations for the regeneration of the area.

Boris Johnson's approval is needed because the London Development Agency owns the site.

Dagenham Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who has opposed the plan since it was first announced in April, is setting up an online consultation for residents.

The 'No Prison in Dagenham Facebook' group already has 3,864 members.

The text of the assembly's motion reads: 'The London Assembly believes that the proposal to site a prison at Dagenham shows the Government's and Mayor's absence of ambition for the London Riverside regeneration area and calls upon the Mayor to oppose the plans.

"The Assembly believes the local community should be fully consulted both about the plans and the future regeneration of their area, and in particular deplores the failure to consult with them on the proposal for a prison.

"The Assembly further calls upon the LDA to come forward with positive proposals to make London Riverside a place where people want to live, not where they are made to.


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