AM calls for UK Minister to come clean

Aberavon’s AM, David Rees, is calling for the Prisons Minister in the UK Government to answer his questions and come clean on the reasons as to why he selected the site in Baglan Industrial Estate for a new prison.  Following a request for information to the Welsh Government made by Mr Rees, he has now received a detailed reply which indicates that the Welsh Government responded to a request from the Ministry of Justice and identified 20 sites in South Wales as meeting the MoJ’s limited criteria for the siting of a new prison – 5 of which were within Neath Port Talbot. The Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Children, Carl Sargeant, indicated that 3 of those 20 sites were selected by the Ministry of Justice for further consideration: Baglan Industrial Estate, Brocastle (Bridgend) and Felindre Business Park (Swansea).  On 22nd March the UK Government announced its decision to locate a new prison on one site – Baglan Industrial Estate.

David Rees said “We have no indication as to why the site at Baglan was selected and the Minister for Prisons must now provide the people of Port Talbot with the reasons for his decision.  Why did they select these three sites and out of these why Baglan.  So far, he has shown total disregard for local people and failed to answer such basic questions.  It is now time for him to come clean and explain the criteria used by the Ministry of Justice and the investigations they undertook at the site.  Ministers in London need to understand that people in Port Talbot should be respected and they are entitled to these answers.”

Stephen Kinnock added “It’s time that the UK Government acted in a responsible manner and provided the details behind their decision.  They should follow the example of the Labour Welsh Government in being open with the public and not hide behind disrespectful letters which fail to give answers to questions I asked.”