THE news that Wrexham could be in line to house a ‘super-prison’ has prompted overwhelming support Leader readers.
The Ministry of Justice announced on Thursday that six prisons are to close in England, with three more being partially shut down, in a bid to bring down the cost of the prison system.
A feasibility study on a jail housing up to 2,000 inmates in either London, North West or North Wales is to begin, and the former Firestone rubber factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate could be on the shortlist.
Former Wrexham Council leader Aled Roberts AM joined other North Wales politicians in welcoming the idea, and Leader readers have been equally as positive.
On Facebook, user Sharon Smith said: “Wrexham is as capable as anywhere else to house the prison.
“The area where it will be going is big enough to be away from the houses and imagine the job opportunities.”
James Baker wrote: “New jobs in Wrexham far outweighs the ‘risks’ of having criminals locked up somewhere near someone’s home or business.
“There are enough criminals walking free in the town and they don’t create any new jobs. I’m in favour.”
And Rob Roper added: “This is nothing but a good thing for Wrexham. Shrewsbury has a prison practically in its centre.”
Mark Rowley and Nicola Guest also welcomed the proposal, and Janet Swallow said: “Bring it on, there will be more work for people.”
But Wrexham MP Ian Lucas claims Wrexham is not the right location for a super-prison, and has questioned whether North Wales needs space for 2,000 prisoners when there are only 1,000 people from the region in custody.
The super-prison programme is part of a drive by the Ministry of Justice to build new capacity to replace older, more expensive to run prisons and save £63 million a year.
The location of the super-prison would relate to demand, aim to better support courts and the rehabilitation of prisoners as well as make it easier for families to visit.
About 2,600 offenders are held at prisons targeted for closure, including Bullwood Hall, Canterbury, Gloucester, Kingston, Shepton Mallet and Shrewsbury.