‘Indignation’ because migrant hotels are forced into tourist hotspots

Persons deemed to be migrants within the Manston Short-Term Immigration Detention Facility

Municipalities are resisting the imposition of “hotels for migrants” in tourist spots as the Ministry of the Interior tries to disperse the thousands of people who have arrived in small boats across the Channel.

At least four municipalities – some in prime tourist areas – filed legal action after hotels were blocked by the Ministry of the Interior for migrants.

Conservative MPs have also expressed concern over the dispersion, arguing that some councils must accommodate disproportionate numbers of migrants.

It comes as the Home Office seeks to alleviate the overcrowding crisis at the Manston Asylum Processing Center in Kent, where 4,000 migrants were held over the weekend at a site designed for just 1,600.

Overcrowding has led to claims that the Interior Ministry is acting illegally due to its legal responsibility to process migrants within 24 hours. Nearly 40,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year, double the number last year, with ministers expecting at least 50,000 by the end of 2022.

In Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, local council chief executive Sheila Oxtoby wrote to Home Office officials after they booked the entire “successful and sustainable hotel” popular with vacationers.

But it was ignored and 72 migrants moved. The Great Yarmouth Borough Council then took legal action and obtained a temporary injunction preventing a second hotel, the Embassy, ​​from welcoming more asylum seekers.

“Total lack of involvement”

Ms Oxtoby said she took legal action after the Home Office failed to offer adequate advice or commitment.

“We believe that two properties that function as successful hotels in a prime tourist area have been selected to accommodate asylum seekers. This is what we oppose as well as the process by which they were selected, ”she said.

“There has been a total lack of engagement and consultation with us as a local council and they have not used our local knowledge to find the most suitable accommodation. The accommodation they have selected in a top-notch tourist area and does not have a change of use permit from the planning authority and that is what we oppose. “

Ipswich Borough Council received an interim injunction last week after the Home Office planned to house 200 asylum seekers in a four-star hotel. Labor council and local Conservative MP Tom Hunt have joined forces to fight for a court injunction against the Novotel hotel.

Mr. Hunt said, “This is the most pressing issue in my inbox. Welcoming people who have come here illegally to expensive hotels in the city center is not something I will advocate. Companies are very concerned about this as it has often been used by them for work. Now he has lost that purpose. “

The 88-room North Stafford Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent was also barred from hosting migrants after council chiefs got a temporary injunction. Stoke City Council won the injunction against Britannia Hotels this month and the case is due to be returned to the High Court on Wednesday.


Tory, Labor and independent advisers have joined together to criticize the planned use of the hotel, saying, “This is misuse of the hotel, which is not licensed for this use and does not promote inclusion. It is an outrage that the government tells us who to stay where. ‘”

The East Riding of Yorkshire council won an interim High Court injunction against the Humber View Hotel after complaining that its remote location made it unsuitable. The plan emerged when couples who were getting married at a hotel near North Ferriby, west of Hull, were told that their reservations had been canceled.

The injunction prevents plans to house asylum seekers until the November 7 hearing. It prohibits LGH Management and four other companies from using the hotel or any other in the East Riding area to host asylum seekers.

A hotel four miles from the Rishi Sunak constituency house could also be used to house Channel migrants during the winter as part of the Home Office’s emergency plans.

The Home Office is booking the Allerton Court Hotel, a three-star hotel with 44 en-suite bedrooms in the quiet market town of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, which has a population of 16,000.

“Urgent Concerns”

The hotel is a ten-minute drive from Sunak’s House, a Grade II listed Georgian manor house in his Richmond constituency. The Interior Ministry is close to signing a hotel booking contract despite concerns raised by the local council about the lack of health care and other support services for asylum seekers.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association, which represents municipalities, said: “We have raised increasingly urgent concerns with the Interior Ministry on behalf of municipalities about the use of hotels for asylum seekers without adequate time to consult or sometimes even inform the local council in advance.

“The councils understand the pressures in the system, but it is vital that they be notified.”

The government is spending £ 6.8 million a day on migrant hotels. The Interior Ministry said arrivals of asylum seekers were at record levels, but admitted that using hotels to house them was “unacceptable” and “a short-term solution”.

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