March 10, 2023 2.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Relief in Skegness after Scampton asylum seeker plans come to light

Hopes that hotels return to normal

Leaders in East Lindsey are hoping the news of an asylum seeker camp at RAF Scampton will ease the pressure on Skegness.

The government plans to house up to 1500 asylum seekers at the site while their claims are processed, with recruitment already begun.

For over a year, asylum seekers have been housed in hotels in Skegness, sparking concerns from local residents and attracting protests which were highjacked by far right activists.

Leader Councillor Craig Leyland said he hoped the Scampton plans would mean an end of hotel use.

He said the government had a “difficult situation” to resolve in housing the migrants.

“It’s probably not ideal for West Lindsey, but it’s hopefully something that will be temporary and hopefully will take the pressure off as they look to change the way illegal immigrants are coming into the country,” he said.

“We don’t know what the impact will be here for certain, but what we are hoping for is that we don’t see anymore hotels put forward and that the new government initiatives to disperse migrants is put into place.

“We would wish to see the hotels return to their normal use but we don’t have a timeline for that.”

Plans for the site have been released by West Lindsey District Council.

Councillor Leyland suspected various establishments and military sites would be brought forward and noted the government’s recent negotiations with the French president and new legislation to stop boats on the channel.

“There are various things on the go and let’s hope they plan to ease the situation in Skegness,” he said.

East Lindsey District Council is currently looking to take enforcement action on the owners for changing the planning use without permission.

Meanwhile, in West Lindsey local community leaders have been moving into action.

Conservative Councillor Roger Patterson said the news “puts into question” the recently announced £300 million investment in the site the council wanted to move forward with.

He suggested setting up a public meting, and called for calm from residents to avoid attracting far right and far left.

“The facts are there is no done deal, its an option, one that we will fight against and stop,” he said.

Scampton Labour Group has said it will be in the area on Saturday canvassing residents.

“It’s a sure thing that this will be near the top of the list. Scampton Labour opposes this plan on every level,” said local election candidate Giles Sullivan.

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman refused to comment on the issue when asked.

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