Aberavon AM cautiously welcomes multi million pound development.

David Rees AM has today been told by the UK Government that it has selected Port Talbot as 1 of 4 sites for a new Prison to be built within the UK. The prison, which will be a category C prison, will be located on land in the Baglan area and will be part of the establishment to provide an additional 10,000 prison places across the UK. This multi million pound development will bring jobs into the town, opportunities for local companies during construction and offer local businesses opportunities to grow once opened.

Whilst welcoming the investment and job creation potential that this decision will bring David Rees AM has concerns regarding the site location and the impact upon local residents. Mr Rees said “It is important to ensure that the site is appropriate and suitable and to understand whether alternative sites in Port Talbot have been considered. It is also critical to ensure that any lessons learnt from the building of HMP Berwyn in Wrexham are applied and that the Ministry of Justice commit to full meaningful public consultation to provide local communities with an opportunity to partake in the consideration of this development.”

Mr Rees added “I have been aware of rumours and raised questions within the Welsh Government related to the possibility of a prison coming to Port Talbot. This announcement now confirms the Westminster Government’s intentions to build a new prison within the town. The application must now follow planning rules whereby local communities will have both an opportunity to study the proposals and to express their views.”