‘Final preparations’ taking place to house asylum seekers on barge

Last preparations are taking place this week to house migrants on a barge, Downing Avenue has mentioned, amid stories the vessel has not acquired approval from native hearth providers.

The Residence Workplace had been anticipating to ship an preliminary group of individuals to the lodging for asylum seekers in Portland, Dorset, on Tuesday.

However The Occasions reported critical hearth security issues concerning the facility, often known as the Bibby Stockholm barge, with hearth service approval pending.

One supply advised the paper of fears that the vessel may turn out to be a “floating Grenfell”, in reference to the west London tower block tragedy in 2017.

Requested concerning the plans, the Prime Minister’s press secretary mentioned on Monday: “The Bibby Stockholm is presently present process remaining preparations together with hearth security checks.

“That’s occurring this week to make sure that it complies with all the suitable laws.

“There’s been refurbishment that’s been ongoing to guarantee it complies with the marine business security laws.

“As you’d count on, we proceed to work extraordinarily carefully with the native council… to guarantee the best preparations are in place earlier than anybody boards.”

Requested about stories that plans to transfer migrants into RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire have been delayed, the spokeswoman replied: “Work is ongoing to open (the) website at Scampton and we would like that work to be completed as quickly as attainable.

“I can’t get into working commentary on anticipated timelines however finally the positioning will accommodate nearly 2,000 individuals.”

Plans to transfer 2,000 migrants into the RAF camp have reportedly been delayed till October, after setbacks in conducting surveys on the 14 buildings designated for migrant lodging.

The Occasions additionally reported the Residence Workplace will this week transfer extra migrants into lodging at RAF Wethersfield, regardless of various constructive outcomes for tuberculosis being detected on the website in Braintree, Essex.

A division spokesperson mentioned: “Delivering lodging on surplus navy websites and vessels will present cheaper and extra orderly, appropriate lodging for these arriving in small boats.

“The Bibby Stockholm is now present process remaining preparations to guarantee it complies with all applicable laws earlier than the arrival of the primary asylum seekers within the coming weeks.

“As well as, the Residence Workplace is working with stakeholders on a fastidiously structured plan to improve the variety of asylum seekers at Wethersfield in a phased strategy.”

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