Welsh Government should block Port Talbot super prison

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Plaid Cymru South Wales West AM Bethan Jenkins has called on the Welsh Government to use its power to block the UK Government’s plans to build a super prison in Port Talbot.

The Plaid Cymru AM said that the Labour Government had flip-flopped on its position on the prison. She said that the government should be ambitious for Port Talbot, and instead of settling for scraps from Westminster, it should focus on rebuilding its industrial capacity.

Plaid Cymru South Wales West AM Bethan Jenkins said:

“The ability to block the prison is within the power of the Welsh Government. They do have ministerial power to block or delay the sale of this land to the MOJ.

“Legal advice which has been provided to me, shows that the Welsh Government can legally refuse to sell the land and force the MOJ to compulsory purchase. I and others have pointed this out to Ministers, but to no avail. The fact that they will not recognise the power they hold, suggests that they want this super prison to go ahead.”

She continued:

“Plaid Cymru is opposed to the development of a super prison and we believe that Wales can do better than this. We can do better than settling for scraps from Westminster that nobody else wants, as a consolation prize for the lack of real spending and investment in Wales.

“Port Talbot is Wales’ premier industrial area and has great potential. But the moment we start to surrender the ambition of enterprise and re-building our industrial capacity in favour of quick schemes to distract from more systemic economic failures, Wales will lose out.”

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