The Government have confirmed the list of potential ‘Titan’ prison sites will be revised following the decision to build smaller jails – but Lichfield could still become home to 1,500 inmates.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has asked the Ministry of Justice for clarification over the site of the five new prisons announced by Jack Straw earlier this week, two of which have already been confirmed for Dagenham and Chelmsford.
Mr Faricant said:
“The list of possible sites published under Freedom of Information regulations related to three so-called ‘Titan’ prisons each housing 2,500 prisoners. The list was compiled in May 2008. Earlier this week, Jack Straw said these would be replaced by five smaller prisons and announced the locations of two of them.
“Speaking to the Jack Straw’s office, I have been told that the 2008 list, which included Curborough, will be scrapped and a new list compiled of potential locations for the smaller prisons. This new list might well include Curborough again together with many more additional sites made possible because of the smaller size of the new prisons.”
The Lichfield MP also warned that any potential new prison in city could meet with major opposition from those who protested against a proposed eco-town on the site in Curborough. He said:
“I explained to the officials in the Ministry that a recent proposal for an eco-town which was supposed to have been on Fradley Airfield was, in fact, mainly to be developed on farming land and was totally unacceptable. I have now asked for information relating to the area of the new prisons and I will take soundings locally if a prison sited only on the old airfield and creating jobs in the area would be acceptable.
“In any event, I understand that the new list will not be compiled for 12 months or so by which time there might be a change of Government and policy.”