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Oakington Reception Centre

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve the directional signing to the Immigration Reception Centre, Oakington, from the A14. [112421]

The Home Office will give consideration to the issue of additional directional signage to ensure that the apparent confusion over access to the Reception Centre is minimised. We will also take steps to ensure that all staff and visitors are aware of the most appropriate access to the Reception Centre to avoid the use of less suitable approaches to the Centre.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects no longer to require the use of the barracks at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, as an immigration reception centre. [112422]

The use of the Oakington Reception Centre remains under consideration and I will write to the hon. Member when a final decision has been taken.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to change the legal status of the Immigration Reception Centre at Oakington. [112423]

There are no plans to change the legal status of the Immigration Reception Centre at Oakington.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to protect staff and residents at the Immigration Reception Centre, Oakington, from the risk of transmission of the SARS virus from newly-arrived asylum applicants. [112426]

We place great importance on the health and well-being of staff, process stakeholders and detainees at Oakington.Guidance from the World Health Organisation and the Public Health Laboratory Service in relation to SARS has been applied across the Immigration and Nationality Directorate as a whole, with managers carrying out additional local risk assessments. An additional risk assessment has been undertaken at Oakington. Any person displaying symptoms of SARS would not be detained there. In addition, persons who have travelled directly from Hong Kong or China, or who have otherwise been in Hong King or China in the last 14 days are not accepted.The situation in respect of SARS is being closely monitored in the light of advice from the Public Health Laboratory Service, and the risk assessment regularly reviewed and updated.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 8 May, Ref 112425, what plans he has to increase expenditure on security at Oakington Immigration Reception Centre. [113576]

I will carefully consider any recommendations made by the Immigration Security advisors, to increase security at the Oakington Immigration Reception Centre.