Government not ruling out Dagenham for prison site
- Credit: Archant
Controversial plans to create a prison in Dagenham could be back on the agenda after the government outlined measures to build a series of new jails.
As part of the government’s spending review, Chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday that nine new prisons would be erected in England and Wales to replace some of the country’s “Victorian” jails.
In the last seven years there has been two proposals to build a so-called super-prison in the area, but on both occasions, thousands of residents signed petitions opposing the idea.
Although the sites of the nine new prisons are yet to be decided, Dagenham has not been ruled out as a possibility.
“As a unified community we have overturned proposals to build a prison here twice before,” said Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas.
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“The Ministry of Justice responded to me this morning offering no assurances, stating that they are currently reviewing a range of sites.
“I want to make it very clear that if these proposals resurface I will be calling on the community to once again take the fight to City Hall, the Ministry of Justice, and to Downing Street.”
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In 2009, 15,000 residents signed a petition against the proposals to build a 1,500-capacity jail at the Beam Park site between Dagenham and Rainham, on the old A13.
Four years later the proposal to build a super-prison on the same site, accommodating 2,000 inmates, was also opposed by residents, with over 10,000 signing a petition which was taken to City Hall and Downing Street.
“The residents have made their views abundantly clear time and time again on this issue,” added Mr Cruddas.
“I will continue to stay on top of this, making sure that the Ministry of Justice doesn’t try to sneak the plans in through the back door.
“This week I will be directly contacting the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove MP seeking more details of the plans.
“As always, I will keep residents updated with any new information as I receive it.”
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