Hotel housing asylum seekers move under fire over ‘secrecy’ - The Worcester Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

Hotel housing asylum seekers move under fire over ‘secrecy’

Rob George 2nd Aug, 2022 Updated: 3rd Aug, 2022

A WORCESTER hotel has become the latest to be used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers while their claims to remain in the UK are assessed

While the Home Office has not commented on the news the Fownes Hotel is the latest base in the county, Worcester City Council has confirmed the Government had contracted the hotel for use.

Providers have been allowed to use contingency accommodation, such as hotels, during peaks in demand.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are dealing with an unprecedented increase in asylum cases but, despite this, we continue to ensure that the accommodation provided is safe, secure and leaves no one destitute.

“The Home Office does not comment on operational arrangements for individual hotels.”

Outspoken city and county councillor Alan Amos slammed the Home Office’s decision and claimed it was ‘sickening’ how the news was ‘kept secret’, allegedly even from councillors.

“The whole hotel has been taken over with 124 immigrants and they will go to the top of the housing waiting list and get priority NHS treatment over everybody else, plus large amounts of cash to spend every week,” he said.

“The council has more than 3,000 people on its housing waiting list, and it’s extremely difficult for locals to get a doctor’s appointment.

“As has happened elsewhere, the area around the hotel will become a no-go area. The people of Worcester are paying the price for the Home Office’s abject failure to control illegal immigration, now at its highest-ever level.

“It’s shameful a cosy coterie of establishment bureaucrats kept the truth from us,” the Conservative councillor added.

The use of hotel accommodation for people seeking asylum almost trebled in 2021, leaving thousands of families with limited access to vital health, legal and other support services

A staggering 26,380 people were living in temporary hotel accommodation at the end of last year, according to Home Office data obtained by the Refugee Council.

Despite the Government’s pledge to limit the use of hotels and move refugees into longer-term accommodation within 35 days, the data showed 378 people had been in hotel rooms for a year and almost 2,826 for more than six months.

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