- The Government has started the process of returning hotels temporarily accommodating asylum seekers to their normal use by the community, boosting the local economy.
- The Government has always been clear the use of hotels was only ever a short-term measure to accommodate asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute during a period of unprecedented numbers of small boat arrivals.
- Through the progress the Government has made to stop the boats – with crossings down by more than a quarter compared to last year despite huge increases into Europe - the first phase of nation-wide hotel exits can now begin, with Burton at the forefront of this action plan.
Kate Kniveton MP has welcomed the news from the Government that a hotel in Burton will be returned to the community with the announcement that temporary asylum accommodation at this facility will be closed.
This news builds on the success of Ms Kniveton’s meeting with the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, earlier this year, which successfully overturned the Home Office's consideration to use a third hotel in Burton for asylum accommodation.
The use of hotels was a short-term measure to accommodate asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute during a period of unprecedented numbers of small boat arrivals.
The Government has successfully reduced crossings due to the Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan to tackle illegal immigration. This includes the returns agreement with Albania which has seen a more than 90 per cent reduction in illegal Albanian arrivals on small boats, as well as a 50 per cent increase in enforcement visits and passing the Illegal Migration Act – the toughest piece of immigration legislation in recent history. This Act renders the asylum claims of people who come here directly from safe countries inadmissible and establishes safe and legal routes as the only lawful means by which to come to the UK.
The Government have also brought forward more appropriate forms of asylum accommodation in the form of large disused military sites and barges which are less costly to the taxpayer and can be better managed by communities, removing the burden on local authorities to house these migrants.
This means that the temporary asylum accommodation in Burton can close, and the hotel will return to the community.
Commenting, Kate Kniveton MP said:
“People across Burton and Uttoxeter will be pleased to hear that a hotel currently being used to temporarily accommodate asylum seekers will be one of the first to return to community use.
“The Government has been clear that it will end the use hotels for this practice and I have been clear in my meetings with the Immigration Minister that Burton must have its hotels back.
“This is good news and a direct result of the welcome progress the Government is making on this issue. There is of course still more to do but it is a step in the right direction and highlights the Government’s commitment to delivering on this priority.”
Commenting, Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, said:
“Taxpayers cannot be expected to foot the eye-watering bill for the use of hotels to accommodate individuals making illegal, dangerous and wholly unnecessary small boat crossings.
“Our strategy to stop the boats is making progress. With small boat arrivals down more than 20 per cent compared with last year, we can now start to restore these hotels to their rightful use for local communities.
“We remain absolutely determined, through the implementation of the Illegal Migration Act and our Rwanda Partnership, to dismantle the smuggling gangs’ business models and stop the boats entirely.”