HL Deb 07 April 2003 vol 647 c9WA
Lord Burlison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Coniston Hotel and the Grand Ocean Hotel will be used as induction centres for asylum seekers. [HL2457]

Lord Filkin

On 3 March my honourable friend Beverley Hughes confirmed that, after the consultation period was completed, she would make a decision on whether or not we would use the Coniston Hotel, Sittingbourne, as accommodation to support an induction centre. We have also been considering whether to proceed with contract negotiations in respect of the Grand Ocean Hotel in Saltdean. I can now confirm how we intend to proceed with induction centre arrangements nationally.

In light of a thorough review of all the facts, we have decided not to proceed with an induction centre at the Coniston Hotel, Sittingbourne, and not to proceed with negotiations at the proposed site in Brighton.

These decisions reflect the facts of the two cases, and the arguments put forward, and do not diminish in any way our commitment to having a national network of induction centres. In creating such a network, we intend to build on existing arrangements by proceeding in partnership with regional consortia and voluntary groups. Induction centres bring about obvious benefits in helping us to process asylum applications quickly and efficiently and allowing us to tell asylum seekers what is expected of them and to give them health screening. At Dover the induction centre is working well and we will build on this to develop the good practices that will be subsequently implemented at other centres.