MP seeks answers over future of Portsmouth prison

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A PORTSMOUTH MP is seeking answers over the future of Kingston Prison.

Mike Hancock, who represents the south of the city, has written to Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright MP about the situation.

As previously reported in The News, the government announced in January it was planning to shut the site along with five others in the UK, and the prison was closed at the end of March.

It is estimated the move will help the government to save £63m per year.

So far there has been no news on what will happen to the Portsmouth prison.

In his letter, Mr Hancock said: ‘There has been a lot of speculation in Portsmouth about the former prison and I would be extremely grateful if you could tell me what plans there are for its disposal and possible future use.

‘It’s incredibly important that we as a community are able to see the many jobs that moved away from our city replaced, and I look forward to hearing how you feel we can best achieve this.’

Mr Hancock said he was surprised the prison, built in 1877, had been earmarked for closure.

It was one of the top prisons in the country due to the outstanding staff and excellent community involvement,’ he said.

‘It’s important that we now have a clear answer on how we can move forward and I will be looking to the minister to tell me what plans he has for the site now he has closed the prison.’