§ Alistair Burt
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the re-opened facility at Yarl's Wood, Bedfordshire will be used from April 2003 for(a) the long-term detention of asylum seekers and (b) their removal after refusal of their applications; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 31 October 2002]: I can confirm the intention is for the remaining centre at Yarl's Wood to be ready to re-open in April 2003 with a population of single females, and later families, both asylum and non-asylum cases. In advance of this, work has already commenced to install sprinklers and the necessary facilities so that this population can be accommodated. As with all other removal centres, Yarl's Wood will be used to ensure we deliver our commitment to remove those without lawful right to be here. The intention is always to ensure that the period in detention is as short as possible. However, it is sometimes regrettably necessary to detain asylum seekers and other immigration related cases for longer periods of time.