ANGLESEY PRISON - HARD LOBBYING FOR HARD LABOUR
November 7th 2009
It is suggested in the local newspapers that Anglesey is one of the locations best placed to build one of the Government’s new prisons.
As stated previously, if a prison were to be built here then it is likely to bring with 750 new jobs with an average wage in the region of £30,000 and overall revenue between £14-20million.
After the loss of over 700 jobs from the Penrhos RTZ Aluminium Smelter and Eaton Electrical in Holyhead it would come as excellent news indeed.
The Island’s Member of Parliament, Albert Owen will be leading a deputation to Westminster to meet with the Welsh Secretary of State, Peter Hain MP, to push for Anglesey to be the chosen prison site.
The proposed location is at the old Rhosgoch Shell Oil Terminal.
It seems that all journalists reporting the news have been too lazy to walk the mile from the front gate to the actual site itself and the same rusty gate and boulders is that all we have to go on.
The County Leader, Clive McGregor has voiced the support of Anglesey County Council and also believes that the majority of island inhabitants are in favour of the prison come here.
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD OF JUSTICE
The Island economy has been severely injured by the recent massive job losses and it is only right that every avenue and opportunity should be pursued.
Money is money and income is income if you are supporting a family or seeking to improve your position in life. So what’s wrong in making your money and re-building an economy from a house full of individuals of ill-repute?
Of course there’s nothing wrong with ... Just feels sort of ... a bit odd, that’s all.
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ANGLESEY ISLAND ALCATRAZ?
September 25 2009
It is curious how one community’s misfortune is immediately grabbed as an opportunity for another.
This week we heard the news that the Ministry of Justice had rejected its preferred site for a 1,500 person prison at the old Ferodo brake lining site in Caernarfon. The reason given was the price attached to the purchase of the site and the cost of cleaning up the 27 acre site.
It is estimated that the prison would have been of significant economic value to an area that is already under duress due to the general economic climate. The prison would have brought with it 1,000 new jobs and a £17million boost to the region.
Like all local authorities, Gwynedd is already facing a reduction in the amount of money it will receive from the Welsh Assembly Government.
A portion of the land is contaminated by significant waste by-product, such as asbestos, to a depth of 20-30 feet that would need to be cleaned up.
The MOJ decided that it would not afford the site because of this added cost it would be obliged to incur. It is not good economics with pubic money.
The site was apparently put on sale for £24 million by its owners Bluefield but was independently valued at around £15million. The owners state that a firm sale price was not put on the table.
Not unnaturally the local community and Gwynedd County Council were seriously disappointed by the news that project would not go ahead despite their total support.
It is the implications about the loss of significant local employment opportunities in running the prison and in construction that hurt.
The local Member of Parliament, Mr Hywel Williams, expressed deep disappointment and alleged that there was a political motive behind the subsequent statement by Mr Peter Hain MP, Secretary of State for Wales to prefer the Island site in light of the MOJ decision.
OLD SHELL SITE PREFERRED
The Island's MP, Mr Albert Owen, stated his support for Peter Hain’s own preference that the old 198 acre Shell Oil site at Rhosgoch near Amlwch be the location of the proposed prison.
The local authority has already stated its ‘in principle’ support for this proposal. It comes as an unexpected opportunity for the Island that will see the Anglesey Aluminium smelting plant close at the end of September with the loss of 460 direct jobs and many more contract jobs (click here for that news).
This will add to the more than 250 jobs that will finally be lost when Eaton Electricals of Holyhead closes.
Mr Hain stated that he was of the firm opinion that one of the three 1,500 person prisons should be located in North Wales and that his preferred site would be Anglesey.
Further, he urged any local authority with interest to make it known as soon as possible as the MoJ would be gathering itself for another major decision.
I will bring you more news as this story unravels.
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