Asylum Seekers Informed About Return to Bibby Stockholm Barge After Legionella Scare

Asylum Seekers Informed About Return to Bibby Stockholm Barge

Asylum seekers who were evacuated from the Bibby Stockholm barge due to the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water supply are now being informed about their return to the vessel.

The Home Office has confirmed that all necessary tests have been conducted on the floating accommodation, which has been out of use since August.

Letters Sent to Confirm Re-Embarkation

The Home Office has commenced the process of sending letters to asylum seekers to confirm their re-embarkation on the Bibby Stockholm.

While the letters provide notification of their return to the barge, it is understood that no specific date for re-embarkation has been provided at this time.

Purpose of the Letters and No-Choice Basis

A spokesperson from the Home Office explained, “The letters confirm the next steps for asylum seekers and reiterate that all asylum accommodation continues to be offered on a no-choice basis.”

The Home Office maintains that providing alternative accommodation sites like the Bibby Stockholm is both cost-effective for taxpayers and more manageable for communities.

These facilities offer healthcare and catering services on-site, 24/7 security, and purpose-built safe accommodation.

Legal Challenge Against the Use of Bibby Stockholm Barge

In a separate development, a Dorset resident, Carralyn Parkes, is initiating legal action against the Home Office regarding the utilization of the Bibby Stockholm barge, which is currently docked in Portland Port.

Ms. Parkes, who resides on the Isle of Portland and serves as the mayor, seeks High Court approval to challenge the government department’s use of the barge.

Her argument revolves around the assertion that the government requires planning permission for this purpose.

High Court Hearing Set

A hearing regarding the legal challenge is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

The Bibby Stockholm barge is part of the government’s broader initiative to offer cost-effective alternative housing for migrants awaiting the processing of their asylum applications.

Similar conversions of former military sites into accommodation facilities have been undertaken as part of this effort.

Prime Minister’s Priorities

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has identified preventing boats from crossing the Channel as one of his top five priorities in anticipation of an impending general election next year.

This underscores the government’s commitment to addressing migration and asylum-related challenges in the region.

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