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  • Writer's pictureDavid Taylor

Ibis Hotel - Home Office response

On October 25th, the Home Office announced that they would be ending the use of 50 hotels for housing asylum claimants. This followed pressure from human rights groups as well as those who outlined the cost of the scheme.


The UK has seen a significant rise in the number of people claiming asylum over the last few years and so hotels have been used to accommodate claimants whilst they wait for their case to be heard.


In a majority of cases, around 70% of the time, the courts grant asylum to those claiming. Meaning that they are legitimate asylum seekers, fleeing genuine trouble. However, the government needs to speed up the processing of claims as it is not suitable to leave people in hotels for such a long period of time.


Following the government's announcement, I wrote to the Minister to confirm if Romford's Ibis Styles hotel will be one of the 50 no longer used. This followed a number of residents approaching me to ask about what is happening with the hotel.


The Home Office's response to me is below. They are unable to confirm to me if the Ibis Hotel will be closed. However, I am informed that MPs and council Chief Executives will have been informed.


In my opinion, we must act swiftly and compassionately to ascertain the legitimacy of those claiming asylum in the UK. Given the state of the world right now, there are many reasons to relocate to the UK. For example, thousands of young Afghan men served alongside the British Army in combating the Taliban. These men risked their lives for our country and your freedom, we owe it to them to give them safe passage from Taliban occupied Afghanistan.


Similarly, the faster we can process these claims, the quicker these claimants can begin to build their life here. Earning a wage, paying taxes, and supporting our economy.



 

Home Office Response:


Home Office Reply
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Download • 116KB

07 November 2023


Dear David Taylor,

Thank you for your email of 25 October 2023 about asylum seeker accommodation in your

area. Your email has been passed to Asylum Support, Resettlement and Accommodation

for a reply.


The Home Office has always been clear the use of hotels was a short-term measure to

ensure that we meet our statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers who would

otherwise be destitute during a period of unprecedented numbers of small boat arrivals.


Our comprehensive plan to tackle illegal migration is making progress. For the first time

since the phenomenon of small boats began four years ago, arrivals are down by more

than 20 per cent compared with the equivalent period of 2022 despite increases in arrivals

in Europe of 100 per cent in some countries.


Additionally, we have brought forward more appropriate forms of asylum accommodation

including large disused military sites and The Bibby Stockholm which are less costly to the

taxpayer and can be better managed by communities. Within the existing estate we have

reformed estate management to maximise the occupancy of the existing contingency and

dispersal estate, which has prevented an additional 72 hotels being occupied and saved

the taxpayer millions of pounds. We also remain on track to clear the legacy backlog by

the end of the year as a result of significant increases in the productivity of our asylum

decision makers.


As a result of these measures, we are now able to stop the procurement of new asylum

hotels and begin the first phase of hotel exits. This will involve more than 50 hotels being

exited as asylum accommodation by end of January 2024. The first tranche of asylum

hotels we are exiting is comprised of those hotels that have among the greatest impact on

their communities, imposed the greatest cost to the taxpayer and are operationally

deliverable in the coming weeks and months. Hotel closures will be undertaken in all four

nations of the UK. As we continue to deliver on our plan to stop the boats, we will be able

to exit more asylum hotels.


All local authority Chief Executives and MPs have already been informed if an asylum

hotel in their area is being exited in this first tranche of hotel closures, along with a specific

date by which it will have closed. Existing mechanisms remain in place as forums for

engagement.


For the safety, security, and wellbeing of those we accommodate, we do not publicly

comment on individual hotels which may or may not be utilised by the Home Office.


The Government has always been clear that hotels are an inappropriate form of

accommodation and that we must stop using them as soon as possible. People in

communities up and down the country want to see their hotels going back to their normal

use, the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and the Minister of State for Immigration will

work tirelessly to see that happen.


I trust this response has gone some way to alleviate your concerns.


Yours sincerely,

C. Roberts


Briefing & Correspondence Hub

Asylum Support, Resettlement and Accommodation (ASRA)

Customer Services | Home Office



2 comments

2 comentarios


Paul Conway
Paul Conway
30 ene

Don't listen to tossers like the one below... good work, I care just not about the bully that leaves comments like that anonymously.

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Invitado
09 nov 2023

Twister Taylor again. Trying to score points. No one cares about you.

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