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Welcome for news that Government has dropped inhumane and unsafe Yarl's Wood plans

February 14, 2021 8:00 AM
Originally published by Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats

Henry VannBedford Borough Liberal Democrats have welcomed this week's news from the Home Office that the Government has dropped its plans for unsuitable and inhumane temporary additional accommodation for asylum seekers at Yarl's Wood.

Liberal Democrats had raised severe concerns in respect of the planned temporary accommodation alongside the existing Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) at Yarl's Wood, in particular over the inhumane and unsafe conditions that were proposed, in the midst of the pandemic. Bedford Borough Council had been investigating whether it could take planning enforcement action against the Home Office over the development, as Liberal Democrat Councillor and Planning Portfolio Holder Henry Vann reported to a Full Council meeting.

Responding to the news, Councillor Vann said "It is welcome news that the Home Office will not be seeking to effectively detain in unsuitable and inhumane conditions some of those most in need as well proposing unsafe conditions during a pandemic. I was involved in campaigns against the detention of children in Yarl's Wood more than a decade ago, alongside campaigners from all parties, and it is imperative that the Home Office learns its lesson and ends the harmful hostile environment and the mistreatment of asylum seekers, wherever they are accommodated; I would urge other local authorities to be vigilant against inappropriate and unsuitable accommodation that puts asylum seekers and local communities at risk, but welcome this decision."