The Home Office proposal to host 506 refugee men on a barge off Portland in Dorset is facing opposition from the local police commissioner and council leader, both of whom are Conservatives.
Local councillors have said that the Home Office has not answered dozens of questions about the plans. They would like further information about security to protect refugees from attacks, health and waste provisions and background checks. They are demanding extra resources to pay for local services.
Spencer Flower, the leader of Dorset council, said the council was opposed to the plan, and was lobbying for more resources.
David Sidwick, the police and crime commissioner, said he was lobbying the home secretary, Suella Braverman, and Home Office minister, Chris Philp, for extra funding to cover security. He has previously indicated that Dorset is the wrong place for the barge, as the police force is “the second worst- funded in the country”.
Dorset council and Richard Drax, the local MP, are considering a legal challenge to stop the barge from arriving in late June. Built to hold around 220 people, It is currently being refurbished in Plymouth.
Government contractors have admitted they don’t want to work on the vessel because of the “reputational risks”.