Jo has hit out at the Scottish Prison Service, for refusing to respond to concerns about the name of a local prison. Almost 3000 people have signed Jo’s petition against the Scottish Prison Service working title of “HMP Bishopbriggs” for the new prison to be built on the old Low Moss Prison site.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill declined to respond to an invitation to come and meet Bishopbriggs residents to discuss the issue, instead passing it on to the SPS, who initially indicated their willingness to consult with the local community. However when Jo attempted to arrange a date for a public meeting with SPS, her telephone calls went unanswered for more than 2 weeks. Now SPS have declared the matter party political, and told Jo in an email “it would be inappropriate for us to respond further to you”.
Jo said, “I am astonished that SPS, a public body, believes it is inappropriate to respond to me, an elected Member of Parliament, about an issue that is causing great concern to thousands of my constituents. Far from my position being party political, it is the SPS that are flying in the face of a broad consensus amongst the community and elected representatives of all parties.”
Jo has urged the SPS to rethink their position and convene a public meeting at the earliest opportunity. “The important thing is that local people in Bishopbriggs can voice their concerns on the prison name directly to SPS, and for SPS to listen and reject “HMP Bishopbriggs” as a possible name for the new prison.”