§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many places they plan to have available for Immigration Act detainees at the end of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003; and what capital expenditure on the provision of new or refurbished accommodation is budgeted for each of the years from 2000–01 to 2003–04 inclusive. [HL2123]
§ Lord Bach
This Answer assumes that the Question refers to detention places. Current plans for the detention estate for each of the years is as follows: by the end of 2000, 889 places; 2001, 889 places; 2002, 1,381 places; and 2003, 1,381 places. In addition, the reception centre at Oakington has 400 places used under detention powers. The increase represents the new centres at Aldington and the replacement for Harmondsworth, less the return of Rochester to the Prison Service. Present proposals are for Aldington and the Harmondsworth replacement to be procured through the private finance initiative route, not capital.
In the context of the Spending Review 2000 and the need to increase the removal of failed asylum seekers, consideration is being given to a further expansion of the detention estate. Preliminary work is under way on finding possible sites. I am unable to give the noble Lord information about the extent of that possible expansion until funding has been settled.