Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

New jail 'would benefit Gwynedd'

former Ferodo site
The proposed prison site is at the former Ferodo factory near Caernarfon

Gwynedd council is set to renew its backing for a prison to be built on the former Ferodo site near Caernarfon.

The council board will be told later that a prison on the site would benefit both the area's economy and prisoners' lives.

Councillors will also hear that if it is chosen, any risks will be identified and minimised as far as possible.

The chosen site, from a shortlist of four throughout Wales, is expected to be announced early next year.

Across Wales the sites under consideration are at Cwmbran, Merthyr Tydfil, Wrexham and Caernarfon.

Gwynedd council has already said it supports the idea of a prison in the area, but councillors are discussing the issue again as part of the Justice Department consultation process on the plan.

Job creation

In his report, recommending support for the Ferodo site, the council's strategic director of development, Iwan Trefor Jones, notes that there is currently no prison provision in north Wales.

The proposed prison would be for between 400-500 category C offenders - which is for those reaching the end of their sentence, those considered to be low risk, and those awaiting sentence.

It would create about 450 direct jobs, and some 100 indirectly, he said.

Of the jobs being created around a third would be for prison officers, on a salary scale of between 18,135 - 28,136.

The other jobs would be in areas such as prisoner escorts, health and education support and administration.

Economy

All this would potentially contribute about 7.2m annually to the local economy, he said.

In support of the plan, Mr Jones also notes that in favour of the site in Caernarfon are six factors, including the development of the town as a legal and justice centre.

He also notes the presence of Bangor University and Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital, the access to both Welsh and English-medium services, the economic situation, access to public transport, and the fact that it would clean up a site which is currently a polluted former factory.

Concerns regarding the risks associated with the prison could be taken into consideration, especially because of the importance of tourism, he said.

"There are also concerns about the effects on local crime levels and on house prices," he added.

Evidence of the likely effects would be gathered by officers and councillors on a trip being organised to visit Parc Prison near Bridgend, he said.

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SEE ALSO
Factory could be new prison site
15 Aug 08 |  North West Wales
Location shortlist for new jail
06 Aug 08 |  North West Wales

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