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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Call for Yarl's Wood to shelter homeless
Yarl's Wood on fire
The centre was partly destroyed in the fire in February
A councillor has called for the controversial Yarl's Wood asylum centre to be turned into a shelter for homeless people.

The Home Office is still considering the future of the Bedfordshire centre which was partly destroyed by fire on 14 February.

On Wednesday, Tom Foster, a Bedfordshire County councillor, called on the government to allow a new use for the building.

The call comes a day before immigration minister Beverley Hughes is due to visit the centre and meet members of the local community.

Mr Foster told the BBC that he would be asking the minister to consider allowing the remaining part of Yarl's Wood, which has 450 bed spaces, to be used for homeless people.

"It has now been empty for many months, so if we have got this accommodation why don't we use it," he said.

"We have a big homeless problem in Bedfordshire and this centre has a lot of beds."


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03 Apr 02 | England
17 Feb 02 | England
15 Feb 02 | England
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