A official email based suggestion box has been opened for you to send your idea for the new prison name.
As Wrexham.com readers will know we first spotted the note about the naming process buried in an obscure PDF newsletter last month. We noted that the process to decide something that could become synonymous with the town for generations to come was unclear involving unknown and unelected individuals, cumulating in the Queen making the decision.
Rather than opting for a straight vote, or vote on a shortlist of names, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is inviting individuals to email them on firstname.lastname@example.org with a suggestion of what the name should be and your reason for choosing it and then various committees will then make an overall decision.
NOMS say the name “should embrace the history and culture of North Wales and have its roots in Welsh language”
NOMS say they will be engaging with schools, youth groups, historical societies, local authorities, elected officials and faith groups to ensure they receive a wide range of suggestions.
Russ Trent, who is governor elect of the new prison, said: “It is important to me that this prison is named by the community in North Wales and takes into account the Welsh language.
“By involving as many people as possible from the area I am sure we can get a strong name.”
In the information released NOMS re-iterate the information from last month, saying “A committee of local and regional representatives will then consider the suggestions and create a shortlist for the North Wales Prison Regional Stakeholder Steering Group. They will then select a preferred name which will be signed off by their Chief Executive Officer, Michael Spurr. Final approval is with Her Majesty The Queen as the prison will be Crown Property.”
Wrexham.com is aware of who the Queen is, however has queried who the ‘local and regional representatives’ are, and who is on the North Wales Prison Regional Stakeholder Steering Group.
Wrexham Council have told us this has been an official NOMS announcement, so the make up of the groups and committees are unknown however we were passed detail on which groups make up the North Wales Prison Regional Stakeholder Steering Group.
The Council said: “The North Wales Prison Regional Stakeholder Group has been established by the MoJ and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The objective of the group is to engage North Wales regional main stakeholders with the delivery of the new prison. The group membership consists of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), National Offender Management Service (NOMS), Health Board, Probation Service, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Regional Local Authorities, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Welsh Government.”
Cllr Neil Rogers, said: “For some time now there has been a lot of anticipation about the name of the prison. I am therefore very grateful to NOMS for giving local people the opportunity to put their suggestions forward and that the criteria embraces the Welsh culture and language. I will be taking part in the judging process and look forward to seeing what comes forward.”
The focus on North Wales could be seen as odd by those in England, around 3 miles away from the site of the prison itself.
Similarly peculiar is Cllr Rogers specifically mentioning ‘local people’ being given a chance to put suggestions forward with the thrust clearly being the Wrexham area rather than Manchester and Wolverhampton.
Throughout the project much has been made of ‘local’ spend of £30,000,000 and ‘local’ employment, however the term local is more loosely defined when discussing those benefits than usual, including those inside a 50 mile radius or one hour commute to the prison site.
To put your suggested name forward simply email it to email@example.com by Friday, October 9 with a reason why you have suggested it.