MEMBERS of the Furnace Action Committee today expressed delight at the news the Home office has withdrawn its plan to house asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
But they said they would remain vigilant to make sure the hotel is returned to its proper use as quickly as possible.
“Plainly, this is a major victory for the people of Furnace and the people of Llanelli,” said Furnace Action Committee spokesman Robert Lloyd.
“But, as with all these things, the devil is in the detail.
“We are not lowering our guard – just yet.
“We will want to see how the hotel owners, Gryphon Leisure Limited and their parent company Sterling Woodrow, react to this move.
“Will they now accept an olive branch from the local community, realise they made a massive mistake in proposing the plan and return the hotel to its four-star glory.
“If they accept their errors and show a sincere commitment to moving forward to rejuvenate a hotel which now bears several scars, then the local community may be able to take their apology and help in rebuilding the hotel and the business.
“We would also like to see a firm commitment from Carmarthenshire Council to ring-fence the Stradey Park Hotel as a major tourism asset for Llanelli and Carmarthenshire by putting some safeguards in the Local Development Plan to make sure there is no danger of this ever happening again.”
Mr Lloyd added: “On behalf of the Furnace Action Committee, I’d like to say how proud we all are of the people who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.
“It’s been a two-pronged attack to get this done – members of the Action Committee have been working hard on the legal challenges, the research into the owners and the ownership, appearances in the High Court and lobbying different Government bodies and organisations.
‘Meanwhile, protestors have staged a 24/7 presence at the hotel entrance and the majority have done so in a law-abiding and peaceful manner and they deserve full praise for doing that.”