WREXHAM would not be the “obvious” venue for a prison, according to the Welsh Secretary of State.

En route to canvassing in Johnstown, Peter Hain told the Leader he backed defending Wrexham Labour Parliamentary candidate Ian Lucas in opposing the idea of a prison in the town

He said the general feeling was that people did not want a prison in Wrexham.

“This is a matter for local people,” he said.

“Our government would not put a prison where people don’t want it.

“It (Wrexham) is not the obvious venue.

“To be frank it’s very close to the English border and a natural preference would be for somewhere more centrally located in Anglesey.”

He added: “We go for venues where people want it.”

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is looking to build a 1,500 capacity jail in either North Wales or the North West of England.

Wrexham Council has submitted land owned by the Welsh Assembly Government at what was the Firestone factory on the town’s industrial estate one of the six potential sites in North Wales for a jail.

Council leader Aled Roberts said a second bid had been made by a private company.

He did not specify where but the Leader understands it is the former site of the Owens Corning fibreglass factory.

Other possible sites include Anglesey Aluminium Factory in Holyhead, the former BP site at Rhosgoch, also on Anglesey, the former Morfa military camp at Tywyn, Gwynedd, and the old Greengates farm complex near St Asaph Business Park, Denbighshire.

On his visit to Johnstown Mr Hain joined the Parliamentary candidate for Clwyd South, Susan Elan Jones, to speak to residents.

Speaking about the manifesto and plans for the future, Mr Hain said the party would bring more jobs to Wrexham and the surrounding area.

“We want to bring hi-tech jobs and low carbon green technology,” he said.

“Our policy is to invest in new jobs.

“Sharps industry in Wrexham is expanding manufacturing the panels.

“Airbus is going to be shifting towards greener aircraft.”