Palms Hotel: Havering politicians react to Government stopping asylum accommodation plans

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell. Picture: Andrew Rosindell

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell. Picture: Andrew Rosindell - Credit: Andrew Rosindell

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell and Havering Council leader Damian White have welcomed a Government decision to stop plans to use a Hornchurch hotel as temporary asylum accommodation.

Havering Council leader Damian White. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Havering Council leader Damian White. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council - Credit: Archant

The Recorder reported earlier today that the Home Office halted its proposal to house asylum seekers at the Palms Hotel in Southend Arterial Road.

The plan was part of a nationwide programme to move asylum seekers from their current accommodation to more spacious ones for families to help reduce coronavirus infections.

Mr Rosindell and Cllr White wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel outlining their concerns to the original move.

Cllr White said in his letter that the location was unsuitable and said the council had not been consulted.

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He told the Recorder the council is delighted at the halting of the plans, adding: “We remain committed to ensuring the welfare of all our residents, whether temporary or long-term.

“We remain concerned that such decisions are made without consultation with local councils and health bodies and will continue talking to the Home Office about this.”

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Mr Rosindell, whose constituency lies near to the hotel, said he was “very glad” to hear of the Home Office’s decision to put an end to the temporary accommodation proposals.

He claimed that the move was a “good decision” both for the area and for those seeking asylum.

The Conservative MP also said he had received no knowledge of the decision to use the hotel for housing asylum seekers and had been disappointed that the Government had not spoken to residents, the council or himself first.

Mr Rosindell added: “While the hotel is not in my constituency, it neighbours onto Ardleigh Green and Gidea Park and I was extremely concerned about the impact on constituents in those areas. “I am very glad that the Government has now reversed its decision.

“I know that Priti would want to make sure that these people had the right sort of care and accommodation and that the local people of Havering were also looked after and taken into consideration as well.”

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