Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock, has invited Sam Gyimah to Port Talbot to meet residents at a public meeting to discuss the proposals for a prison in Port Talbot. The public meeting will take place on Wednesday 20 September at 7pm in the Aberavon Beach Hotel.
In his letter to the Minister Mr Kinnock has called on Mr Gyimah to attend the meeting to ‘answer the inevitable additional questions that will be raised’ and encouraged him to stick to his commitment to ‘fully engage with the local community.’
Commenting, Mr Kinnock said, ‘Since March we have been drip-fed answers from the Ministry of Justice, with information being prised out through letters and parliamentary questions. It is now time that the Minister comes to Port Talbot and engages meaningfully with the local community, as he said he will do.’
Since Mr Kinnock’s meeting with the Minister in July, Mr Gyimah has responded with a letter giving more information on the process that led to the Baglan Industrial Park being chosen as the site for the new prison and further information on the consultation process.
Mr Kinnock has also responded to the Minister by urging genuine consultation with the public, including engagement with the local community about the location of the prison and the suitability of the Baglan site as a location for the prison. He has also asked for greater clarity around the choice of the site and the site criteria.
Mr Kinnock said, ‘While Mr Gyimah’s letter gives us further information about their plans, there are still questions that remain unanswered which is why the Minister needs to come to Port Talbot and engage directly in our community. I hope that he will accept my invitation.’
‘His response fails to address why a more suitable site, such as Felindre, came a ‘close second’. His argument around transport, in this context, is incomprehensible because Felindre has good transport links, whilst there are serious infrastructure concerns about the Baglan site in the event of an emergency.’