Protests in Portland against migrant barge

080723 Bibby Barge Meridian
2 groups protest against arrival of migrant barge Credit: Meridian

Two protest marches have taken place in Dorset against the arrival of a barge which will house more than 500 migrants.

Campaigners took to the streets of Portland to show their opposition to the Bibby Stockholm. It's due to be moored there in the coming days.

Protesters say housing migrants on the barge is inhumane Credit: Meridian

It's part of the Government's plans to reduce the number of asylum seekers being accommodated in hotels.

But many argue it's inhumane and the town doesn't have the infrastructure.

  • Hester Viney joined campaigners

Two different groups came together today - with many saying housing people on the barge must not happen.

  • The Most Reverend Angie McLachlan explains what she hopes is achieved from the protest.

The Home Office has said using such accommodation would be "cheaper and more manageable for communities" and would ease the pressure on the asylum system.

It's paying Dorset Council £3,500 per person based on a national funding formula, which amounts to £1.7 million in total.

Councillor Laura Beddow said extra funding for voluntary and community services had also been confirmed.

The council has received a £377,000 one-off payment for support and activities like English-speaking lessons.

The Bibby Stockholm can house more than 500 people Credit: Meridian

Bibby Marine said the barge would be "practical, safe, and comfortable".