Community campaigners from Llanelli have visited the Home Office in London this week to hand deliver a letter directly to UK Government Ministers calling for them to think again about using the Stradey Park Hotel as emergency accommodation for over 200 asylum seekers.
The delegation, led by the town’s MP, Nia Griffith, included Llanelli Town Council’s Leader Cllr David Darkin and Cllr Lillith Fenris, Carmarthenshire County Councillor Martyn Palfreman whose Hengoed Ward covers the Stradey Park Hotel site itself, Llanelli Rural Council’s Cllr Bethan Williams and local resident Steve Kelshaw.
In the letter to Tory Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Llanelli MP Nia Griffith outlined the strength of opposition to the proposal and the complete lack of consultation with the public or consideration of how such numbers could be absorbed in the Furnace area by already stretched public services.
It also criticised how the situation has been handled by the Home Office, Clearsprings ReadyHomes and the hotel’s owners and confirmed that there was considerable anger and dismay amongst residents about being treated in such a dismissive way.
Other points raised included the plight of the hotel’s employees who lost their jobs as a result, those couples and families that have had weddings and other events cancelled at short notice and the loss of such an important tourist and economic facility to the town.
Commenting on the letter and the need to continue pressing the Home Office to reverse their decision, Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said:
“The use of the Stradey Park Hotel for this is just not sensible or practical.
People have genuine concerns about how public services will cope with increasing the population of Furnace by around 50% all in one go and what effect it will have on a tight knit community. The complete silence from those involved in driving this proposal has led to fear and uncertainty amongst local residents..There are also unresolved issues around access to the site.
It is still not too late for the Home Office to drop this ill thought out and disastrous plan. Our letter is calling for exactly that and for them to consider alternative models instead such as the dispersal programmes, which have been already used to good effect in Llanelli and other areas.
It also calls on the UK Government to accelerate clearing the backlog of asylum seekers, so as to reduce the need for additional hotel accommodation. This situation is only happening at all due to the ongoing incompetence of Tory Ministers who have lost control of the system completely.”