Jo invites Justice Secretary to meet residents opposing ‘HMP Bishopbriggs’

Jo has invited Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to meet with a group of Bishopbriggs residents opposing the working title ‘HMP Bishopbriggs’ for the new prison facility replacing Low Moss.

On the grounds that this is an “operational matter”, Kenny MacAskill MSP referred Jo to the Scottish Prison Service, however Jo insists that the naming of the prison has political implications which require the Justice Secretary himself to intervene.

Commenting on the invitation, Jo said:

“The residents of Bishopbriggs are angry about the working title, and I believe a face to face meeting will bring home to the Justice Secretary how strongly they feel about the matter. I have collected over a thousand signatures from residents who feel that ‘HMP Bishopbriggs’ should be ruled out as a possible name for the prison. It makes no sense to use this working title for three years until a decision is made, when residents are so clearly opposed to the name. I hope Kenny MacAskill will agree to meet with my constituents and intervene on their behalf.”

A copy of Jo’s letter to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP is below.

Kenny MacAskill MSP

The Scottish Parliament


EH99 1SP

16th January 2009

Invitation to meet with Bishopbriggs residents

Following my previous letters dated 19th November and 12th December 2008 and correspondence with Mike Ewart of the Scottish Prison Service, I would like to arrange a meeting with yourself and a group of Bishopbriggs residents who are deeply concerned about the proposal to name the new prison facility ‘HMP Bishopbriggs’.

While I appreciate that this is a working title and a final decision has not been made as to the name of the prison, it has provoked a considerable backlash among local residents who understandably feel very strongly that the name ‘HMP Bishopbriggs’ should be ruled out at this stage due to the negative connotations it brings to Bishopbriggs.

This decision has political as well as operational implications, therefore I believe your intervention is required on behalf of my constituents. I would like to invite you to meet with us in my constituency or, failing that, I would like to bring a delegation of residents to meet with you in Edinburgh.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Swinson

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