Members of the action committee set up to oppose the plan to house asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel have reacted angrily to yesterday afternoon’s announcement of a July 3 start for the Home Office project.
“It is a barmy, half-baked scheme which will damage the community of Furnace and Llanelli and one which is not in the best interests of asylum seekers,” said Furnace Action Committee member Robert Lloyd.
“The behaviour of the Home Office, its agents Clearsprings and the hotel owners, Sterling Woodrow, has been shocking and shameful.
“The latest announcement did not come as a total surprise as we knew we faced a ‘done deal’ and that we were being lied to earlier in the week.
“Carmarthenshire Council officials have been supportive of our stated aim to block the project.
“Sadly, they – and our elected representatives – were caught flat-footed when the plan was first placed on the table. Four weeks of secrecy meant that our campaign would always be a race against time.
“The Home Office still refuses to come clean on the plan, hiding behind weasel words about commercial contracts and still maintaining that they are making every effort to reduce hotel use for asylum seekers.
“Obviously, the Home Office is unaware that the word ‘consultation’ still exists in what is supposed to be a modern, democratic society
“The latest announcement is a blow for the action committee, but we are not defeated.
“We have already secured the services of two legal firms and have a continually expanding list of action points. We will share some of those over the next few days. Some of those action points will not be discussed outside our meetings as we want to keep our powder dry.
“To make it clear, we are not a bunch of NIMBYs trying to block a project in our own back yard. There are sound reasons why the Stradey Park Hotel is not suitable for such a project.
“The four-star hotel currently operates as a going concern and we wish to see it continue in business to play its vital role in Carmarthenshire’s tourism policy.
“The hotel is completely unsuitable for use as accommodation for asylum seekers – the scheme already hints at infrastructure changes and ’emergency accommodation’. The plan also puts nearly 100 jobs in jeopardy, ruining the lives of 100 local families.
“We fully support Carmarthenshire Council’s preferred model of distributing asylum seekers throughout the wider community, a model which offers so much more for their health and wellbeing.”
The Furnace Action committee was set up following a public meeting attended by nearly 400 people at the Selwyn Samuel Centre, on Sunday, May 28. It held its first meeting on Thursday, June 01. The committee is made up mainly of dozen local residents who volunteered their services at the public meeting. It has an email address for correspondence – firstname.lastname@example.org
It has started a petition. It reads –
WE, the undersigned, wish to object in the strongest possible terms to the Home Office’s plan to house asylum seekers in the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.
The four-star hotel currently operates as a going concern and we wish to see it continue in business to play its vital role in Carmarthenshire’s tourism policy.
The hotel is completely unsuitable for use as accommodation for asylum seekers. The plan also puts nearly 100 jobs in jeopardy.
We fully support Carmarthenshire Council’s preferred model of distributing asylum seekers throughout the wider community, a model which offers so much more for their health and wellbeing.
This petition is intended for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
Petition organised by the Furnace Action Committee