Campaigners take to streets in bid to save prison

Campaigners Carol Atter and Lynne Holcombe are fighting  the planned closure of Wellingborough Prison
Campaigners Carol Atter and Lynne Holcombe are fighting the planned closure of Wellingborough Prison
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Campaigners fighting to keep Wellingborough prison open took to the streets of the town centre today (September 1) to rally support.

In July the Government announced the prison will close by the end of the year resulting in an annual saving of more than £10m, in addition to £50m which would have to be spent to maintain its long-term viability.

The demonstration in Market Street, in Wellingborough town centre, was organised by Lynne Holcombe, whose husband Michael is a prison officer at Wellingborough.

Among the speakers at the rally were Wellingborough MP Peter Bone and Martin Field of the Prison Officers Association in the town.

Campaigners say the prison is doing a good job, as well as providing jobs for the town.

Mrs Holcombe said: “Most residents don’t want to see it close. There is no negative side to the prison being here and it offers employment opportunities.”

So far 3,300 people have signed a petition calling for the prison to be saved.

Mrs Holcombe said: “We will continue our campaign and there is optimism we can change the Government’s mind.”

When the closure was announced, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said prison staff at Wellingborough would be absorbed elsewhere in the system to avoid compulsory redundancies.