County Council member says 'serious questions' must be asked about food resources at immigration centres

4 June 2023, 13:40

Caller Karen told David Lammy that the quality of food offered at the Manston immigration centre was 'terrible'.
Caller Karen told David Lammy that the quality of food offered at the Manston immigration centre was 'terrible'. Picture: LBC

By Georgina Greer

Caller Karen exposed the conditions of food given at the Manston immigration centre, telling David Lammy that she learned of 'two hangers' worth of food that had to be donated so it would not go to waste.

Karen who is a member of the county council for Labour in Ramsgate told David Lammy how she has not been able to access the Manston immigration centre for two years.

David responded: "Isn't that extraordinary, you are a public official, taxpayers in your area are funding it and you can't go and see how that money is being spent."

Karen went on to tell of how she had walked into a different centre recently to find it "stacked high" with dried food products which she was told had been sent from Manston as they were close to their 'sell by' date.

She elaborated: "Apparently there was two hangers worth of this food and we are in a cost of living crisis!"

She added that the area has one of the poorest wards in the country.

Karen went on: "The quality of this food was terrible! You just wonder, apart from the waste and what is the scale of the waste, what is the quality of this food."

"They're not there for a three-day festival! You can live on Pot Noodles for three days at a festival but this is a permanent thing," she exclaimed.

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Karen continued: "What is really interesting, is that a lot of people here want to make contact, they want to do that thing that we're really good at here which is extending that hand of friendship and support."

"I think serious questions need to be asked, what if this is happening up and down the country this scale of waste, who is getting these contracts?"

"What is happening, where is this money being spent, and how much is being wasted?" Karen asked.

David replied: "I think it is perfectly ask how is this money being spent and what is it for?"

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Karen slammed the Conservative government: "Well I would like to know how much is being skimmed off the top, because I don't trust this government one jot to deliver anything."

She criticised the Tories further, saying she believes it has become "normal practice" for politicians to "take money off the top."

"How come we've got a situation where there is a staggering amount of food, rubbish food really...sat in warehouses in Manston with a whole community of people here who are in dire need of food," she demanded.

"It's almost like people are being gaslit into this situation...we've got a government who don't really want to deal with anything and are happy to waste money," she concluded.