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09 November 2022

Council Leader reacts to Cumbria Park Hotel asylum news

Following a decision taken by the Home Office, the Cumbria Park Hotel in Carlisle will be used to accommodate people seeking asylum in the UK.

The hotel will become one of several in the county providing short-term accommodation for people recently arrived in the UK and who are having their application for asylum processed by the Home Office. The hotel will be operated by the Home Office’s contractor Serco.

It is understood that the hotel will provide accommodation for around 100 women. The council has been told that most of them will stay at the hotel for six to eight weeks before being moved to longer term accommodation elsewhere in the country.

People seeking asylum at the moment are coming from a range of countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Albania.

People have a legal right to seek asylum in the UK and current government data shows 72% of asylum applications are approved by the Home Office.

Reacting to the news, Cumbria County Council Leader Cllr Stewart Young, said:

“This is happening because the Government has failed to get a grip on the whole issue, despite regularly promising to do so, but we must recognise that these people are not illegal immigrants. Anyone has a right, enshrined in law, to seek asylum in this country and we must treat them properly when they do. Given the chaos in the national response, I accept that Cumbria has a role to play, just like everywhere else.

“The women who will be staying at this hotel will have left their home countries in fear of their safety, and many will have risked their lives to get here. Until the Government gets its act together, they need our welcome and support, not hostility and suspicion. They should not be scapegoats for the many things that are going wrong in this country right now, such as the problems in the NHS, and the cost-of-living crisis. The blame for those lies elsewhere.

“I have said before that Cumbria has a proud history of supporting refugees and people seeking asylum and I hope and believe that the vast majority of people in this county would wish to continue that tradition.”

Further facts about how and why hotels are being used to accommodate people seeking asylum in Cumbria can be found at www.cumbria.gov.uk/refugees.


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Following a decision taken by the Home Office, the Cumbria Park Hotel in Carlisle will be used to accommodate people seeking asylum in the UK.