Home Office U-turns on plans to house asylum seekers in hotel

By John Mercury October 11, 2023

The Home Office has U-turned on controversial plans to house asylum seekers at a hotel in west Wales.

The Stradey Park Hotel and Spa in Llanelli was due to house 207 people but the plan was strongly opposed by the council.

Last week, Carmarthenshire County Council wrote to the Home Office urging the UK government to withdraw its plans, citing concerns around escalating community tensions.

In recent weeks, several people have been arrested in connection with disorder at the site.

The council said it had received written confirmation from the Home Office on Tuesday the plans would not be going ahead, and said it was pleased with the decision.

The Home Office also confirmed to Sky News it would no longer be taking forward plans to turn Stradey Park Hotel into asylum accommodation.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has issued a prohibition notice, which prevents the premises from being used for sleeping accommodation.

The council said it would continue to work with Dyfed-Powys Police and the hotel owners to ensure the site is managed appropriately.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Darren Price said it was “the right decision” for the hotel and the people of Furnace, Llanelli.

“Now is the time for the community of Llanelli to come together, to heal from the experience of the past few months,” he said.

“I will reiterate Carmarthenshire County Council’s desire to continue to welcome our share of asylum seekers from countries such as Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria to our county via the dispersal model which has worked successfully in Carmarthenshire for many years.”

Read more from Sky News:
Asylum seekers to return to Bibby Stockholm barge
Home Office told to stop work at RAF base set to house asylum seekers

A Home Office spokesperson said the number of people arriving in small boats was lower than last year but added that it “must go further to stop the boats in the first place”.

“That is why we are determined, through the Illegal Migration Act, to ensure that anyone arriving in the UK illegally is detained and swiftly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country,” the spokesperson added.

“We are also working hard to reduce the unacceptable use of hotels by moving asylum seekers into alternative, cheaper accommodation, doubling them up in hotel rooms, and clearing the legacy backlog.”

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