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Proposed short term holding facility at Abbotsinch Road to replace Dungavel

Proposed short term holding facility at Abbotsinch Road – to replace Dungavel

A planning application has been lodged by Arora Hotels/Management Services/Property with Renfrewshire Council in Scotland to build a 51-bed “short-term holding facility” on Abbotsinch Road. The “facility” will effectively detain or imprison “families, the disabled and the vulnerable”.

Positive Action has submitted a formal letter of objection which is at this link.

We are concerned this facility will reinstate the disgraceful and inhuman practice of detaining children, who have committed no crime, and who face psychological damage in their most formative years. The imprisonment of children at Dungavel was ended in 2010.

We are concerned that conditions will be much worse, with no external visitors or communications. Furthermore, we know that would-be refugees already in our communities will be in greater fear of removal from Scotland, in addition to detention. Between 2007 and 2016, there have been 926 individuals recorded as being at risk of self-harm in Dungavel alone. In 2004, and 2013, two people committed suicide at dungavel.

We are also  concerned that Aurora is trying to justify the proposed facility by using a policy intended to favour distribution/logistics businesses which would only make sense if one regards human beings as “freight” (see Grounds 2 and 3 of the attached letter of objection).

Time is short. The deadline for planning objections is this Saturday 22 October 2016.

 

We need as many people as possible to formally object to this proposal going ahead.

 

Call to Action

 

If you want to stop the Abbotsinch proposal going ahead, you can do so now by emailing dc@renfrewshire.gov.uk and following these essential steps:

  1. The subject heading of your email should be: PLANNING APPLICATION REFERENCE: 16/0655/PP.
  2. You must provide your full name and address in your email
  3. Attach our model letter of objection which is provided in word format at this link: http://tinyurl.com/modelobjection . (please forgive the planning jargon)
  4. Please remember to amend the model letter to include your full name and address.
  5. Copy your email and attached letter objection to home@paih.org , and your local MP, MSP.
  6. If you live in the Renfrewshire Council area, please copy in your local councillor.
  7. Write to your local paper to express your concern

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Positive Action in Housing is an independent refugee and migrant homelessness and human rights charity. We work with individuals and families to rebuild lives. We assist those seeking refuge to overcome crisis situations, for example, the removal of their basic human rights such as liberty, refuge, shelter and the right to work. By empowering people with information, we help individuals to make the right decisions about their future. Through casework, we challenge unfair decisions. We offer welfare advice and money skills. We offer advice, crisis grants and shelter to those at risk of destitution. We lead human rights campaigns, most recently concerning the refugee crisis. We persistently challenge anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment. We believe in a society where everyone has the right to live safe and dignified lives, free from poverty, homelessness or discrimination.

 

  1. Between 2007 and 2016, there have been 926 individuals recorded as being at risk of self-harm in Dungavel alone. In 2004, and 2013, two people committed suicide at dungavel. (All data was obtained from UKBA under the Freedom of Information Act)

 

  1. We understand the proposal has been put forward by Tim Jurdon, an employee of Arora Hotels/Management Services/Property. Arora is headed by Surinder Arora, a hotelier who, in 2013, came 22nd on the Sunday Times rich list with an estimated wealth of £350M. Mr Arora is now making his money in the most modern way possible – asylum seekers. In 2010, Crawley Borough Council rejected a planning application by Arora International Hotels to convert a 254 bed Hotel into an immigration detention centre.

 

  1. There tends to be a general ignorance of the role and function of “short term holding facilities” and “immigration removal centres”. Their function is not solely, or even largely, that of holding of so-called ‘failed’ asylum seekers prior to removal, it is the ‘administrative detention’ of people within the asylum process and those prior to removal. Each year hundreds of people pass through these facilities that are eventually released back into the community and granted leave to remain in the UK.

 

  1. Press enquiries: Call 07581046473 or email home@paih.org

 

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