Child detention given green light today despite noisy protests

In spite of noisy protests outside, Mid Sussex Council District Planning Committee today gave a green light to the continued detention of children and families when they approved by 14 votes to 1 the UK Border Agency's application to turn Crawley Forest School in Pease Pottage into a Pre-Departure Accommodation centre.

Opponents of child detention, including SOAS Detainee Support, Brighton No Borders and No Borders London, branded the decision “disgraceful” and vowed to continue the fight against the centre and the companies involved in designing and running it.

PRESS RELEASE: Barnardo's legitimise the continued detention of children

Thursday 10th March 2011

The children's charity Barnardo's is legitimising the continued use of detention for children by agreeing to provide welfare services at a "pre-departure accommodation" centre the government plans to open in Pease Pottage near Crawley in Sussex.

Demo at Mid Sussex planning meeting, 24/03/11

Demo at 9am outside Mid Sussex Council planning meeting at the Council Chamber, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1SS to protest against Arora's plans to convert a school into a "pre-departure accommodation centre".

More details about the plans here.

See a model complaint e-mail letter/e-mail to send to Mid Sussex Council planning meeting here.

Contact Mid Sussex Council - say no to detention!

As part of Brighton and London No Borders' campaign against the latest attempt to build a detention centre in the Crawley area, we are asking anyone concerned with the ongoing detention of children to join an email campaign against the proposed 'pre-departure accommodation' planned for Pease Pottage in Sussex.

If we can persuade the Mid Sussex District Council District Planning Committee that this Home Office proposed operation can in anyway be considered to be a secure facility, reneging on the Coalition's promise to end the "detention of children for immigration purposes", we can stop this glorified PR exercise and force the government to truly end this barbaric practice.

Please encourage the wide distribution of this statement, draft email and lists of the planning committee members and all 54 Mid Sussex District Councillors. And get emailing people! The more they all hear about this the better. If a mass email campaign help work in thwarting the forestry sell-off, then it can certainly help end the locking up of children for the mere convenience of the Home Office and UK Border Agency.

NB The current date for the planning meeting to consider the application is 17 March, so please hurry!

Pease Pottage - What's happened so far

At the end of January 2011 London NoBorders received information that the hotel company Arora International [1] has started a second attempt to make money from the Home Office's deportation business. The company plans to use the site of a residential school for children with behavioural and learning difficulties in Pease Pottage, Crawley, Sussex owned by the Arora Group subsidiary "The Crossroads Childrens (sic) Education Services Ltd.", into an immigration detention facility.

This is a summary of what happened so far:

Pease Pottage Detention Facility: Home Office Does not like Publicity

Midsussex Council has today published the planning application for the planned detention facility for families and children in Pease Pottage. However, to our surprise the council has not published the application itself, but a letter from the Home Office asking the council not to publish the application details as they are "sensitive information".


Join #Operation_FirstContact , No New Detention Centres!