Jon Cruddas MP, alongside local Labour Councillors, has launched a campaign against plans for a new 1,500 place prison on the former Ford site in Dagenham.
The proposal was revealed on 27th April by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, with the backing of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who heads the London Development Agency (LDA) which owns the site.
Jon has tabled over 50 parliamentary questions relating to the plans, covering every aspect of the proposals. He highlighted major concerns over the suitability of the former Ford site, which has a huge amount of potential to benefit the local community, potential that would be lost with the prison.
Local public transport routes are inadequate to sustain a large prison, and there is the likelihood that this would remain the case for the foreseeable future. The burden of the prison would therefore fall onto Dagenham's road system, creating significantly more traffic and increased congestion. The number of jobs that would be created by the prison is too low, and those that would result from the prison can not be guaranteed to go to local residents.
These concerns are reflected in the all round lack of consultation with the community and its local residents, which is why Jon launched the campaign to scrap the plans for the prison. Thousands of residents have supported the campaign by signing the petition.