A PETITION has been launched calling on the governors of the new HM Prison Berwyn in Wrexham to remove the name Bala from one of its wings.

The £212m HM Prison Berwyn opened in Wrexham last month and will house up to 2,100 prisoners.

The first wing to open has been named Bala. A reception desk in that wing states “Welcome Croeso i Bala” with a picture of Llyn Tegid.

But there is opposition among in Bala and a petition has been started to have the name changed.

The petition was circulated among the Urdd Eisteddfod audience in Bala on Saturday with more than a hundred names collected.

“As a former pupil at Ysgol y Berwyn, Y Bala, it was heartbreaking to see it called HM Prison Berwyn in the first place," Llinos Jones-Williams, who started the petition, told local weekly Welsh language newspaper Y Cyfnod.

“But to name a wing after our town is a disgrace that’s even more hurtful. And to rub more salt into the wound, it has a large sign in the reception area with 'Welcome to Bala' and a lovely photo of the lake!

“We were not informed of this until the building opened, and to my knowledge, no one was consulted to see if we, local Bala people, were happy with the decision."

Llinos has called for a meeting with Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, to discuss the matter.

County Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, was also unaware. He said: "None of the locals knew of it. 

“Naming it Berwyn was quite odd in the first place but calling the wing that has already been opened as "Bala" sits very uncomfortably with me."

An online petition has been started to remove the name of Bala from the prison at https://www.change.org/p/russ-trent-hm-prison-berwyn-to-remove-name-of-bala-wing-hm-prison-berwyn-i-ddiddymu-enw-bala

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