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Prisons (North Wales)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 27th February 2013.

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Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Conservative, Aberconwy 11:30 am, 27th February 2013

What discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues and others on building a new prison in north Wales; and what progress has been made.

Photo of David Jones David Jones The Secretary of State for Wales

The Ministry of Justice is carrying out a review to examine the feasibility of constructing a new prison. I am pleased that north Wales is being considered as a possible location and reiterate my strong support for locating a new prison in the area.

Photo of Guto Bebb Guto Bebb Conservative, Aberconwy

I thank my right hon. Friend for his response, and I warmly welcome the possibility of a so-called “super prison” in north Wales. Does he agree, however, that while further public sector investment in north Wales is welcome, it should not detract from the need to rebalance the Welsh economy and ensure that we move away from the dependence on public sector pay in Wales?

Photo of David Jones David Jones The Secretary of State for Wales

My hon. Friend makes a fair point. The new prison would provide approximately 900 new jobs of high quality, but its economic impact on the area would be approximately £17.5 million, which would itself be a stimulus to the private sector. The new prison is widely welcomed in north Wales.

Photo of Albert Owen Albert Owen Labour, Ynys Môn

The Secretary of State said that the Ministry of Justice was reviewing the possibility of a prison in north Wales. Has the Wales Office itself identified sites? I believe, and he believes, that this would boost economic activity in north Wales. It be good for the economy as well as the justice system.

Photo of David Jones David Jones The Secretary of State for Wales

I agree entirely with the hon. Gentleman that this would be of massive economic benefit. My hon. Friend the Minister discussed this with the relevant Welsh Minister last week, and I have also had discussions with my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor.