Council leader denounces plans to accommodate immigrants at Stradey Park Hotel

Llanelli Rural Council Leader, Cllr Sue Lewis has denounced controversial plans to possibly convert the Stradey Park Hotel into contingency initial accommodation to house over 300 asylum seekers whilst their applications for asylum in the United Kingdom are being processed and reviewed by the Home Office.

Cllr Lewis remarked “the notion being considered by the Home Office cannot be supported as it doesn’t make sense on so many levels.

“Personally, I am greatly concerned by the news and I know my fellow councillors feel like I do and share my concerns about the detrimental impact this will have locally on the hotel and its staff but moreover, the residents of the village of Furnace and the wider community of Llanelli.

“The council will be fully discussing the issue at its forthcoming meeting on 13 June with a view of lobbying the Home Office not to proceed with such a controversial and ill-considered proposal.

“Placing a large number of asylum seekers in one venue or one particular location in Llanelli is not the answer. Put simply, Llanelli is not equipped to cater for such a large processing facility. It will significantly increase pressure on all the public service agencies but particularly Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

“If this goes ahead it will have a significant and negative impact on services and will completely transform the village of Furnace. School places and access to local health services and GP services are already over-stretched, not only this but who will have to pick up the bill? I’m sure it won’t be the Home Office.

“I am very concerned about the impact this will have on the future status and standing of the Stradey Park Hotel and the general community. I’m sure I speak for all councillors when I say the council fully supports Carmarthenshire County Council’s dispersed model for accommodating asylum seekers across Carmarthenshire. This model seeks to integrate asylum seekers in a more measured and sustainable way. It has already been successful as we have seen with the successful resettlement of Syrian, Afghan, Ukrainian and other general asylum seekers in recent times.

“I fully support Carmarthenshire County Council pursuing this with the utmost importance with the Home Office in the hope of preventing it from going ahead.”

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