May 26, 2023 12.35 pm This story is over 6 months old

RAF Scampton to hold asylum seekers from Manston detention centre – not Skegness

It won’t ease the burden on hotels

By Local Democracy Reporter

Migrants set to be housed at RAF Scampton will now be relocated from the asylum seeker detention camp in Manston, Kent.

The Home Office has informed West Lindsey District Council about a change in the asylum seeker proposal for the site following a ministerial decision last week.

Initially, the plan for the migrant camp was expected to alleviate the strain being put on hotels in coastal towns such as Skegness.

However, the revised strategy involves utilising the camp in conjunction with the existing hotel accommodation.

Newly-elected council leader Trevor Young said: “It appears the Home Office does not have a clear and deliverable plan for accommodating asylum seekers at RAF Scampton.

“Initially, we were told the site would be up and running by April. We are now three months in and there is still no delivery plan.

“We firmly believe this is because you cannot make RAF Scampton safe for the purpose of housing asylum seekers.”

The representative of Gainsborough South West assumed leadership of the local authority during Monday’s AGM as he reaffirmed his party’s commitment to opposing the controversial plans.

The council will proceed with its judicial review on July 12 and 13, taking the matter to the High Court once again.

Newly elected West Lindsey District Council Leader Trevor Young | Photo: James Turner

He continued: “We recognise that there are still many unanswered questions about these proposals and ongoing concerns within the community.

“Please know we are doing all we can behind the scenes, and we continue to stress the importance to the Home Office of them keeping residents and businesses updated on their asylum centre plans for RAF Scampton.

“We are continuing to press the Home Office for more details including urging them to engage proactively and honestly with our community and we will continue to keep residents updated.

“Whilst we fundamentally oppose the use of RAF Scampton as an asylum centre, it is important that we prepare to support our community and any asylum seekers should our legal proceedings not be successful.

“We are continuing to work with our local partners including health care providers, police, fire and social services, to plan for this to ensure any provision is safe, legal and compliant and mitigates any pressure on local services and the impact on the local community.”

Director of Planning, Regeneration and Communities Sally Gringrod Smith added: “As soon as the Home Office proposals for RAF Scampton emerged, we made it very clear that there was a significant risk to the investment plan and that the site was not deliverable in the timescales and for the purpose proposed.”

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