Government says no immigration removal centre in Oxfordshire
25th June 2010: The UK Border Agency will be considering options for expanding `detention estate’, with government dropping the project to set up an immigration removal centre near Bicester in Oxfordshire.
Immigration minister Damian Green believes it is unaffordable under current plans. With this the proposals to house 800 failed asylum seekers, submitted by the UK Border Authority in 2008, stands shelved.
The previous government had asserted 500 jobs would be created at the new centre at Arncott near Bullingdon Prison.
In a letter to North Oxfordshire MP Tony Baldry, Green said he appreciated that delays in making a decision were unsettling for local residents but the construction of the centre was currently unaffordable under current plans.
There was, therefore, no plan to commence construction at this time. The UK Border Agency would, however, be considering a variety of options for expanding the detention estate in the run up to the spending review due in the autumn.
Baldry, on the other hand, said if the Home Office haven’t got the money to build a new immigration removal centre at Arncott, it would be very difficult to see, given the country’s present financial circumstances, when at any time in the foreseeable future they were ever going to have the money to build a detention centre at Arncott.