Jeremy Corbyn Asks Re-Opening Of Prison Holloway Visitor’s Centre To Be Used As A Homeless Shelter
The Labour leader has requested to house dozens of local rough sleepers on the site of Victorian Holloway Prison.

Jeremy Corbyn demanded the visitor centre of Victorian Holloway Prison to be used as a homeless shelter.

The previous prison of women in his north London constituency, whose infamous cells held suffragettes, the last woman to be hanged and Myra Hindley, shut in 2016.

In 2017, the visitor centre was ‘occupied’ by feminist group Sisters Uncut, who called for a women’s centre and affordable housing to be built on the site.

The Labour Leader has called for direct intervention from the government to make use of the centre in the meantime.

“leaving the visitor centre empty on prime London land seems an incredible waste of a good resource” Mr Corbyn wrote in a letter to Justice Secretary David Gauke.

“I am writing to ask that you consider agreeing, in principle, to the temporary re-opening of the HMP Prison Holloway Visitor’s Centre so that it may be used as a homeless hostel.” Mr Corbyn added.

Read More: Additional 8,000 Children Become Homeless in UK Since Last Year: Charity Shelter

He referred to a research from the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) showing that there were 63 rough sleepers in Islington, north London, in October to December 2017 – a rise of 12 on the previous three-month period.

Mr Corbyn added: “The UK housing crisis is particularly challenging for inner London boroughs.”

“Having an additional resource to help address the needs of local homeless individuals would be hugely beneficial.”

“Rough sleeping nationally has more than doubled since 2010 to almost 5,000 people.”

The Labour’s aides insisted it could make a “major contribution to ending rough sleeping in the borough” as a temporary measure.

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The Leader said: “Rough sleeping is on the increase in Islington and across the country, and is an emergency that needs action now.”

“It will only be solved in the long term with more funding for council and health services, instead of more Tory cuts, and a massive increase in homebuilding to end the housing crisis.” he added.

“But there are temporary measures, like this proposal for a hostel, that would make good use of a centre that is currently unused and offer urgent help to people who need it.”

A spokesperson of Ministry of Justice said: “The visitors’ centre at HMP Holloway is currently a key site for prison officer recruitment as we continue to increase staffing numbers. Regrettably therefore the centre is not vacant and is unable to be put to alternative use.”

“We are working closely with the council and others on the sale of the site.” a spokesperson concluded.

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