According to Reclaim Holloway, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is not being honest about the use of the Visitor Centre at the now closed Holloway Prison.
The campaign to put the Visitor Centre to good use is supported by local MP Jeremy Corbyn, who recently told a community meeting, ‘I have had a reply from the Secretary of State for Justice who tells me the building is busy in use for training of prison officers. If anyone can confirm this I would be grateful’.
Using Freedom of Information (FoI) laws, Reclaim Holloway asked the MoJ for details of any such training taking place and received confirmation that more than 2,000 trainees had been through its doors since September 2017.
This was somewhat misleading.
The MoJ failed to admit that the training takes place only in the upstairs Assessment Centre. This was revealed in a subsequent FoI in which the MoJ admitted that the Visitor Centre itself, which has its own entrance, is used only by security guards to patrol the now empty prison and to watch CCTV.
Reclaim Holloway believes the MoJ has misled Mr Corbyn and is misleading the public. It demands that the MoJ, now having admitted the Centre is not in continuous use, open it up immediately to local groups and charities that are willing to provide services to the homeless people there.
It also asks why the MoJ is spending tax payer money securing the Centre from the public when homelessness is at a record breaking high?
Reclaim Holloway opposes the MoJ’s controversial plan to sell the ten-acre prison site to the highest bidder for luxury housing when affordable housing and the homeless crisis should be a government priority.
Opposing the MoJ’s plan to sell the ten-acre prison site to the highest bidder for luxury housing, Reclaim Holloway further demands that the they immediately reveal whether it has had bids for the site, the value of the bids, who the bidders are, and what they propose.
The MoJ spent £140,000 on utility bills (not including security costs) for the site between August 2016 and February 2017 – how long can this waste of taxpayer’s money continue?
Contact: Maureen Mansfield,
mob: 07413 043185
Reclaim Holloway is a coalition of local residents, campaigners, prisoners and ex-prisoners, and interested organizations fighting for the Holloway Prison site to be used for the good of the local community and the people formerly incarcerated there . The coalition insists that the site be used for genuinely affordable housing (over 50% social housing), public green space, and a Women’s Building offering a variety of services. These goals were supported by Islington Council in its recent Special Planning Document for the site, which called for “meanwhile use” of the Centre. For more information see http://reclaimholloway.strikingly.com