A COMMUNITY leader has voiced his opposition to possible plans for a super prison in Wrexham.
Abenbury Community Council chairman Raymond Squires lives on the Pentre Maelor estate close to the former Firestone rubber factory on Wrexham Industrial Estate, which was previously earmarked as the site for a smaller local prison.
Earlier in the month the Ministry of Justice launched a feasibility study for a prison housing up to 2,000 inmates in either London, the North West or North Wales and it is believed the Firestone site could be on the shortlist.
The news was welcomed in many quarters including the Wrexham Business Professionals group who said it would bring economic benefits to the region.
But Cllr Squires has claimed a prison would take jobs away from the area.
He said: “A prison will not bring jobs here it will take them away. I’ve been around factories close to where the prison could be built and they said if a prison is built then they will move out.
“Jobs in the prison itself are more likely to go to people from outside the area such as workers at the six prisons that the Ministry have announced are closing.
“I had a meeting with someone from the Home Office about three years ago and they admitted they wouldn’t be employing people from Wrexham to build a prison as it’s a specialist build.
“The only work given to Wrexham would be to Hanson who make concrete.”
Cllr Squires also raised fears of the impact a prison would have on house prices.
“The moment the first brick goes up, the price of every property within a three mile radius will drop like a stone,” he said.