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Asylum seekers housed by the Home Office at Exeter hotel

Published: 18 November 2022

Asylum seekers housed by the Home Office at Exeter hotel Exeter

The City Council has been made aware of the decision by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers in the city and is working with partner organisations to facilitate any support that may be required.

The Council was informed by the Home Office on Sunday that an unspecified number of asylum seekers would be housed at a hotel in the city. The Council was not involved in or consulted on the decision.

A number of asylum seekers are now staying at the accommodation after arriving in the city in the last couple of days.

The Home Office is funding the accommodation and the security arrangements, and the Council will consider how any support needs can best be facilitated, in collaboration with its partner organisations, including Devon County Council.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homeless Prevention, said: “The Home Office is trying to address the challenges at the Manston facility in Kent. They notified us on Sunday that a decision had already been taken for use of a hotel in our area for contingency asylum accommodation. Exeter City Council was not consulted.

“Exeter City Council and Devon County Council have a long track record of working together to support vulnerable people who are seeking asylum or are refugees, and will continue to do so to help those impacted, despite the challenges this decision presents.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for communities, said: “We are aware of the Home Office’s commissioning of the hotel, as short-term emergency accommodation for asylum seekers who are at the start of the asylum application process. This is one of many across the country that the Home Office is utilising for this purpose.

“We don’t know how long those placed here will remain in Devon, but we and our City, District, Parish and Town Councils partners in Devon, and with excellent support from NHS Devon colleagues and the voluntary sector, are well placed to provide care and support to individuals.

“We are extending our hand of welcome to those new arrivals, and with a duty of care, will do all we can to support them.”

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