Campaigners continue fight to save Wellingborough Prison

Protesters upset at the closure of Wellingborough Prison, led by prison officer's wife Lynne Holcombe and MP Peter Bone
Protesters upset at the closure of Wellingborough Prison, led by prison officer's wife Lynne Holcombe and MP Peter Bone

Campaigners will continue their fight to save HMP Wellingborough from closure despite news that some prison staff could start being transferred out within weeks.

The Telegraph understands that the under-threat prison has been scheduled to close at the end of December, but all prisoners will be moved out by the end of October.

While some staff could be transferred as early as next week, the official start date for the relocation of staff is November 5.

Rumours that the prison site could be used as an immigration centre if it does close have been quashed by the Home Office.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “There are no plans to take over at HMP Wellingborough and turn it into an immigration centre.”

The campaign group, Locals Against Wellingborough Shutting, has vowed to continue to fight against the closure. They are due to meet Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright today, Thursday, October 4.

Lynne Holcombe, campaign organiser and a prison officer’s wife, is also unhappy over the alternative jobs which have been offered to prison staff. She said: “When they had their interviews they were told they’d be given three choices but the majority have not been given one of their choices. My husband will have to travel an hour to the prison they have offered him. I am disgusted that once again the prison staff have been disrespected. There are not that many prisoners left there now. But we are very hopeful that we can keep the prison open.”

A Prison Service spokesman said: “Initial indications are that half of Wellingborough staff got their first choice of posting and over 75 per cent of staff have been offered one of three prisons of their choice.

“Applications for voluntary redundancies are being considered and staff have the option to appeal against their relocation.”