York Green Party condemns the inappropriate camp for refugees at Linton-on-Ouse

Air traffic control tower at Linton-on-Ouse aireabase

York is a Human Rights City, and the Green Party in York were an important part of achieving that status. We would like to reiterate our support for asylum seekers and refugees. York Green Party welcomes asylum seekers and refugees from wherever they have come (including Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine) however they have managed to get to the United Kingdom, whether by one of the virtually impossible “legal routes” or any other route.

We believe that the proposed camp at Linton-on-Ouse is not appropriate for the asylum seekers that would be held there. It is intended to function like an open prison, with the asylum seekers having a curfew. It is in a location that would leave the people there very isolated with almost no facilities. There are only four buses a day, and they would simply not be affordable at £6.10 return. Linton-on-Ouse also lacks the infrastructure that is needed to support extremely vulnerable people, many of whom will be the victims of torture. There is insufficient medical or dental care in the area already and services would become seriously overstretched. The result would be a large number of bored, frightened young men with no opportunities and no access to anything.

We also know that many children have been mistakenly deemed to be adults by the immigration services and that there are therefore likely to be a significant number of boys held with adults in a way that takes no account of their safety and wellbeing.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention recently published a report on their visit to the Napier Barracks near Folkstone, which shows how badly residents are treated, and calling for the immediate closure of the site. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that conditions at Linton-on-Ouse will be any better given the government’s determination to treat asylum seekers as badly as possible in an attempt to deter others from coming.

The UK over the last few decades has an appalling record on receiving refugees. We are the fifth richest country in the world, but take only 2.7% of refugees with fewer than 250,000 compared to nearly 4 million in Turkey and over 1 million in the Lebanon. The British government continually shirks its responsibilities and fails to provide safety for refugees in the United Kingdom.

Asylum seekers should be housed in safe accommodation within communities and not isolated in camps, especially decommissioned military bases or prisons.

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