Councillors ask Justice Secretary for meeting on Wellingborough prison closure

Wellingborough Prison
Wellingborough Prison

Wellingborough councillors have asked Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to meet with them to discuss plans to close Wellingborough prison.

The council has sent a letter to Mr Clarke asking him to come to Wellingborough, and councillors have alternatively offered to meet with him in Westminster.

It comes after councillors unanimously backed a call for the decision to close the prison to be formally re-evaluated.

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution discussed at a meeting on Tuesday (July 31) to formally reject the decision.

In the resolution councillors said the closure decision was “fundamentally flawed” and said the council was “proud of its prison and demands a formal re-evaluation of the position”. 

Council leader Paul Bell, who agreed the wording of the resolution together with opposition councillor Adam Henley, said: “This is something the whole council feels strongly about, as was apparent by the overwhelming cross-party support.

“Following the unanimous decision to pass the resolution at the council meeting, a letter has been sent to Kenneth Clarke asking him to come to Wellingborough to discuss the issue with us.

“We’ve also offered to meet with him in Westminster. We want the Ministry of Justice to understand exactly how this decision could affect our borough.

“The prison is a major employer, with both directly-employed staff and other suppliers and businesses relying on it, and the closure would obviously have a knock-on effect on our local economy.

“The campaign to have this decision given proper consideration and debate is gathering pace and the council is fully in support of that.”