The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 6th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many propositions for new Immigration Removal Centres have been announced to market in the last two years.
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): In the period 23 November 2020 to 23 November 2022 the Home Office has announced to the market three new Immigration Removals Centres: Derwentside IRC, Campsfield IRC, and Haslar IRC.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government why there is a bar on chaplains and other faith leaders visiting detainees at Tug Haven and Western Jet Foil; and what plans they have, if any, to lift this ban.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: Tug Haven closed in January 2022. There is no bar on chaplains attending Western Jetfoil.
However, there is currently no provision to do so as people are only held there on a very short term basis whilst basic medical checks and searching takes place.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government when they will publish a statement of community involvement following the consultation on extending planning permission for the accommodation facility at Napier Barracks.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: The United Kingdom has a statutory obligation to provide support and accommodation to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute. The record numbers of individuals illegally crossing the Channel has meant the asylum acommodation system is under immense pressure. Ongoing use of Napier and the development of new accommodation models, are vital to our ability to continue to meet the ongoing demand to accommodate destitute asylum seekers.
To ensure that this much-needed facility continues to provide accommodation, officials prepared a planning proposal extending our use of Napier until 2025, and on 27 August 2021 we laid a Special Development Order (SDO) which came into effect on 21 September 2021. A statement of community involvement will not be produced as it is not a requirement of the Special Development Order; however, we have sought to engage with the local community through correspondence and the provision of relevant information on the gov.uk website.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government whether they plan to set out an action plan to implement the four recommendations made by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) in his report An inspection of the initial processing of migrants arriving via small boats at Tug Haven and Western Jet Foil December 2021 – January 2022, published on 21 July.
Lord Murray of Blidworth: The Government published its response to the ICIBI’s report on 21 July 2022. This included a commitment to address all the recommendations made by the ICIBI, almost all of which had been resolved by the time of the report’s publication.
A copy of the response can be found at Response to ICIBI report on small boat arrivals at Tug Haven and Western Jetfoil – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/response-to-icibi-report-on-small-boat-arrivals-at-tug-haven-and-western-jetfoil]