Nearly £700,000 spent on upkeep of prisons closed to inmates

HUGE bills costing nearly £700,000 have been paid out for the upkeep of prisons even though they’ve closed to inmates.

Ministers have revealed the heating, water and electricity costs over the past five years before the site is handed over.

Holloway Prison was sold last year for £82million to make way for 1,000 homes after it closed in 2016.

The jail housed notorious criminals Myra Hindley and Rose West.

But Lib Dem MP Layla Moran said: “Our prisons are in crisis, suffering from chronic under-funding.

"But this Government seems happy to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds on prisons without prisoners.

“Ministers are presiding over a total and utter shambles and look woefully out of touch.

"They can’t deal with prisons full to bursting but can keep the lights on at empty ones.

“This money would be better spent recruiting more prison staff to help get the violence we are seeing in our prisons under control.

"This sort of waste is criminal.”

A Prison Service spokesman said: “Since 2010 we’ve raised almost £128 million for the taxpayer by selling former prisons.

"Spending on maintenance has ensured these sites remain in a fit state to be sold as quickly as possible.”

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