Second Public Meeting On Proposed Prison

At the second public meeting on the proposed prison in Port Talbot, I updated the hundreds of residents who were there, on what had happened since the last public meeting. In that time a covenant on the land has been uncovered and we have a new Minister in the Ministry of Justice. Since Rory Stewart’s appointment we have had 3 breakthroughs:

  1. Meeting with Rory within 5 days of his appointment, this marked the beginning of a good and constructive dialogue, with the Minister willing to listen to the community’s opposition to the proposals;
  2. Questions on the floor of the House, where the Minister said, ‘a decision on this prison is not likely to be imminent’. He also agreed to meet with the community in London;
  3. Meeting with the Minister and representatives from the Stop NPT Prison group, where the Minister again said that there are no longer any imminent plans to move to pre-planning and that he is open minded with respect to the site. He is also open minded over the site if a more appropriate alternative site could be identified,

I also set out in my presentation that my priority is to get the Ministry of Justice to make a definitive and rapid decision on the prison to avoid the risk of the community being left in a state of long term limbo. The best way to achieve this is by getting the Ministry of Justice to commit to an alternative site in South Wales. I outlined five alternative site options: