Boris urged to reject Dagenham prison plan

John Phillips A TORY London Assembly member is due to call on Boris Johnson to reject the Dagenham prison plans tomorrow (Wed) after the Ministry of Justice reportedly admitted to consultation failings . Andrew Boff is to ask the Mayor – whose London Development Agen

John Phillips

A TORY London Assembly member is due to call on Boris Johnson to reject the Dagenham prison plans tomorrow (Wed) after the Ministry of Justice reportedly admitted to consultation "failings".

Andrew Boff is to ask the Mayor - whose London Development Agency owns the proposed Beam Reach site - to oppose the category B, 1,500-inmate jail, saying it shows "a lack of ambition" for the riverside's regeneration.

Labour MP for Dagenham Jon Cruddas welcomed Mr Boff's bid to pressurise the London Mayor after he attended a Commons' meeting with Justice Secretary Jack Straw last week, during which, he says, it was acknowledged the plans had been unveiled in April without proper consultation. The Ministry of Justice is refusing to comment.


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Mr Cruddas, preparing to launch a prison consultation website, said the "preliminary meeting" discussing the plans and consultation had been "positive" and was due to be followed by another at a date to be fixed.

He said: "They allowed me something which I wasn't allowed at first, which was to have an input.

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"They have acknowledged their failings in terms of the amount of concern and the strength of feeling."

Mr Boff tabled his London Assembly motion after receiving negative feedback from a 5,000-letter mailshot in Dagenham, sounding out public opinion on the prison.

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

"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."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said on Monday: "I'm afraid we do not comment on the Justice Secretary's private meetings.

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