Oakington like a barracks with room to improve - Huppert

July 24, 2010 3:23 PM
Julian Huppert and David Jenkins at Oakington Immigration Centre

Julian Huppert and David Jenkins during their visit to Oakington.

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert visited the controversial Oakington Immigration Centre yesterday (Friday, July 23) and discovered there is clearly room for improvement

He was joined by David Jenkins, Cottenham, Histon and Impington County Councillor and David Reeves, Chair of Oakington Parish Council for a guided tour of the centre and a chance to meet the detainees.

Julian discovered that although there are some activities for the detainees, they are held with very little to do. And some of the space clearly needs improvement, he found.

"It does feel like a barracks," he said. "Oakington is expected to close in a year and I hope that any future provision will be better designed."

The visit was organised following the recent tragic death of detainee, Eliud Nyenze and a highly damning inspection report in 2008.

The three met the manager of the centre, representatives from the UK Border Agency and chair of the Independent Monitoring Board.

Julian added: "People were clearly not very comfortable talking about Eliud's death. More questions have to be answered when the investigation and coroner's report are completed."

David said: 'I was uncomfortable with some aspects of the centre but it seems to be doing a fair job given the role which it's been given.

"Although there is much inevitable hanging around doing nothing there was also some activity. Sadly the football game was being played on a less than full sized pitch with mini-goals when there is a full size pitch, with rugby posts, unused just outside the secure area."

What would you like to do next?