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MoJ faces Titan prisons sites location request

The Ministry of Justice could be forced to reveal the locations for the three Titan prisons this month following a ruling by the Information Commissioner.

The Commissioner last week ruled that the MoJ was wrong to refuse a Freedom of Information request for the list of possible sites submitted by Conservative MP John Baron. The department now has 28 days from the ruling last week to reveal its planned locations.

Mr Baron, MP for Billericay, said: “I am delighted the Commissioner has upheld the principle of public consultation on the siting of Titan prisons.

“The Government is wrong in trying to buy land without telling local residents of its plans. A consultation taking place after land is bought is meaningless because the plans would be presented as a done deal.”

The Government hopes the three Titan prisons will help its drive to add more than 10,000 places to its under-pressure prisons estate.

Justice minister David Hanson told the Commons in February that the 2,500-capacity super jails could be under construction by the end of 2010. But the Government has steadfastly refused to reveal where it intends to build them.

It is rumoured that Basildon and Warrington are likely to make up two of the three sites for the huge jails.

The National Federation of Builders said it welcomed any plans from the Government to spend money directly on construction projects.

“The more infrastructure spending like this, the better; and the sooner, the better,” said a spokesman. “We want to see money going directly from the Government to contractors to get the job done.”

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