November 25, 2022 9.02 pm This story is over 17 months old

Fuming residents say Skegness is being used as an asylum seeker ‘dumping ground’

Heated meeting with residents over hotels used for asylum triage

Skegness residents have accused the government of using the Lincolnshire coastal town as a ‘dumping ground’ in a heated meeting over asylum seekers.

Hundreds took their anger and concerns to Conservative Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman, who said the situation was unfair to the town.

Five hotels are being used to house over 200 asylum seekers while they are processed.

Residents shared their fears that Skegness will no longer be a beloved family resort, harming business for years to come.

“I ran a hotel in Margate, where this exact same thing has already happened. It died the same death that people are worried about here,” one woman warned.

One said the town’s cheap hotels meant it was being used as “dumping ground.”

“People are already cancelling vacations to Skegness. What will the council do when all of the businesses go bust?”

A hotel manager claimed he turned down £500,000 from the government to house asylum seekers.

MP Matt Warman said the government was putting an unfair burden on Skegness | Photo: LDRS/Lincolnite

Matt Warman told the meeting he didn’t have easy answers, but was urging the Home Secretary to stop using Skegness’ hotels as soon as possible.

“The immigration system is creaking at the seams, and the government is using places like Skegness to prop it up,” he said.

“We don’t have the resources compared to big cities like London. Disused military bases would also be a more viable solution.”

There are currently 215 asylum seekers being housed across five Skegness hotels and one in Boston.

Two of the hotels are supposedly short term, although there’s scepticism from both the community and MP about this.

A speaker asks when Skegness will be a family resort again | Photo: LDRS/Lincolnite

The heated meeting at the Storehouse saw plenty of anger and frustration, with the authorities being accused of not doing enough.

East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland said he was aware of the risk to Skegness’ tourism industry.

‘We don’t want our aspirations for Skegness undermined by the long-term use of the hotels. We need assurance that they will quickly return Skegness to its former glory,” he said.

Several people said they no longer felt safe, with one woman saying “We’re scared to go out at night.”

Lincolnshire Police Superintendent Pat Coates said there hadn’t been an increase in reported crime, but urged people to tell police when they felt at risk.

The Home Office was invited to attend the meeting, but didn’t attend.

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