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MP PROBES ASYLUM SEEKERS REPORTS

Local MP Nigel Waterson is probing the possible ‘dumping’ of large numbers of asylum seekers in Eastbourne, following concerns expressed to him by local hoteliers. Nigel is Patron of the local Hospitality Association.

Nigel commented: “I have heard from local hoteliers who have been contacted in the last couple of days by Immigration officers based in Dover. They were asked if they could accommodate large numbers of asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan at £50 per night. One large seafront hotel was told that they could fill all their rooms! I understand a number of hotels have been approached in this way.”

“Clearly we have a moral duty to help genuine asylum seekers. But I am seeking clarification from the Home Office as to the procedure followed. How many are being accommodated in Eastbourne? In the past, ministers have been unable to answer my questions about this. Have the relevant local authorities, including health and education, been informed, and are extra funds being made available to look after them? What effect will there be on our tourist trade?”

“It is not a good idea, for the Town or for the asylum seekers, if they are simply ‘dumped’ here without proper consultation or arrangements.”

31 March 2008