CAMPAIGNERS against the use of a Llanelli hotel to house asylum seekers have visited the Home Office in London to hand deliver a letter asking for them to reconsider.

The community in Llanelli has been vocal in its opposition of using Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli to house 241 asylum seekers whilst their applications are processed by the Home Office.

The move – which led to 95 people losing their jobs and a number of people having events such as weddings cancelled – was also apposed by politicians, the health board and emergency services, stating the increased pressure on services, with the council willing to house the asylum seekers in a dispersed model rather than all in one.

There was also concern about a lack of consultation with the authorities and the public.

Carmarthenshire County Council was unsuccessful in a High Court bid for a temporary injunction to stop the move and now campaigners have headed to London.

The group included Llanelli MP Nia Griffith, Llanelli Town Council’s leader Cllr David Darkin and Cllr Lillith Fenris, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cllr Martyn Palfreman, Llanelli Rural Council’s Cllr Bethan Williams and local resident Steve Kelshaw.

The letter stated the above concerns and opposition as well as how the situation was handled by the Home Office, Clearsprings ReadyHomes and hotel owners Stirling Woodrow.

Ms 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 per cent 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.”