Over the past couple of months local MP Jon Cruddas’s campaign to fight against the prison proposals for Dagenham and Rainham has attracted a lot of local support. With signatures on the petitions ranking in the thousands and the success of the Rainham rally last Saturday it is time to move the campaign forward.
The rally was a great opportunity for local residents from across the constituency to come and have their say, posing their questions and raising their personal concerns with Jon and his campaign team.
Jon has been in correspondence with the Ministry of Justice and the Greater London Authority, raising local concerns and trying to ascertain the facts surrounding the issue. It seems that the campaign is finally making its mark nationally as last week the GLA came out in support of local opposition.
Jon Cruddas commented on the support: “They are worried about resistance locally. This is major progress and a sign that the campaign is having an effect. However we still have to convince the Ministry of Justice. They are still, to my knowledge, very keen on Beam Park.”
The Rainham Rally
On Saturday 13th July Jon Cruddas hosted an open rally in Rainham to raise awareness and opposition to the Beam Park prison proposals in order to capture the attention of the government.
With the tag line: ‘We said NO in 2009... And it’s still a resounding NO in 2013!’ local residents from across the constituency rallied round and posed their questions, and raised their concerns. It was a great event and helped to raise the profile of the campaign locally, with many residents of Dagenham and Rainham offering their help with the campaign – opting to receive ‘campaign packs’ which consist of information flyers, window posters and petitions with a return address. The request for these packs has been colossal and Jon hopes that everyone in the constituency will come together in support of the campaign as awareness grows.
There was a fantastic level of engagement at the Rainham rally, with local residents getting involved and finding out where we go from here in the fight against the prison proposals. Not only was this an event to raise concerns but it was a good way for likeminded members of the local community to come together and socialise.
On the subject of the prison Jon added: “The Ministry of Justice want prisoners to be closer to home and want more prisons in the London area. They also want to move prisons out of central London into outer London, both of which suggest that we are still very much in their sights.
“We are going to have more rallies like Saturday’s and events across the constituency to try and test opinion and build involvement.
“I will also be calling debates in Parliament and building a long-term campaign, as I don’t think the issue will go away soon.”
If you would like to do some campaigning on your street please email your name and full address to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call to arrange delivery of a campaign pack on: 020 8984 7854
The next step
We need to put as much pressure on the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the Ministry of Justice as possible. We need local voices and opinions to be heard at the highest possible level.
With this in mind Jon Cruddas is urging local residents to email:
Boris Johnson: email@example.com
The Ministry of Justice: firstname.lastname@example.org
To tell them how you feel about the prison plans for Dagenham and Rainham.