A report by stakeholders involved with the Bibby Stockholm barge has said there is 'no truth' in reports some asylum seekers have attempted to commit suicide and said morale among its residents "seems high".

The group has released a new report on the Bibby Stockholm at Portland Port, in which it addresses concerns regarding transport, well-being of asylum seekers, fire safety and Legionella.

The multi-agency forum is made up of representatives from the Home Office, Dorset Council, Portland Town Council, Weymouth Town Council, Dorset Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Dorset and the barge operators Landry & Kling and CTM.

The report stated: "Morale appears high, and none of the asylum seekers felt intimidation when they were out and about. 

"There was no truth in the rumours of attempted suicides on board – in fact, many new arrivals comment that the accommodation and onboard support is better than the hotels they’d been staying in and that the barge is very different in reality from what they’d read in the media."

Concerns previously raised about the barge being a possible "floating Grenfell" were addressed as Dorset Fire Service said the cladding on the barge was "very different – it was metal, and fire retardant."

Barge operators CTM explained the steps that were taken after Legionella was found on the barge, including the flushing of the water system, and the development of a water management control plan

Dorset Council said it is satisfied that the legionella controls are satisfactory and that measures are in place to monitor the situation.

Dorset Police has reported that there is no evidence to support any rise in crime or other anti-social behaviour since asylum seekers arrived on the barge.

Another concern which was addressed was transport - the MAF report confirmed the original double-decker bus which was in use has been replaced by a smaller coach, and "further revisions are likely". 

It is understood that around 70 per cent of the barge residents use the service daily to go off-site.

The report also made note of "concerns" that the bus service means that asylum seekers are just being "dropped-off and left to ‘hang out’" in Weymouth and Portland. 

"This is not happening, nor is it in anyone’s interest for it to happen," the report wrote.

Nicola David, of One Life to Live, which campaigns against large-scale asylum containment sites, said: "Placing asylum-seekers away from communities, and attempting to contain them there while restricting their freedom to move about, drives a public perception that they have done something very wrong or even criminal, which inevitably and unfairly tarnishes public sentiment towards them.

"In fact, these asylum-seekers have done exactly what we would all do if we faced war, conflict or persecution – flee for our lives.

"The Bibby Stockholm residents are here legally and they are not criminals.

"Therefore there is no legal or ethical reason to segregate and contain these asylum-seekers, or to restrict their freedom. This is quasi-detention, pure and simple.”