Tuesday, 17 April 2007

On the subject of prisons ...

Whilst I am in favour of building more prisons, the suggestion of building one in Rainham on the Beam Reach 5 Business Park site, is not one I support. The proposal is for a category B prison (holding those prisoners for whom escape needs to be made very difficult including rapists, murderers and robbers) for 1500 inmates, making it one of the biggest prisons in the country.

On Saturday 14th April, 6,000 local residents marched through the streets of Rainham to demonstrate their disgust with the Goverment's plans. James Brokenshire MP kicked off the campaign several weeks ago, and is (amongst other things) collating a petition to provide to Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour's prisons minister.

The proposal is non-sensical and would fly in the face of promises to regenerate the local area through providing high skilled jobs. The site has been earmarked as part of the Thames Gateway development as an area for high specification industrial and business space. Once again, it seems that Rainham is being used as a dumping ground.

I would continue to fully support the campaign if I was the Conservative candidate for Dagenham and Rainham. In March I attended the public meeting at which over 200 local residents had their say on the issue.

Previous posts can be found here and here.

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