Huw Merriman, MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency, will be holding a public meeting to discuss the Home Office proposal to open a detained asylum seeker accommodation centre at the Northeye site on the outskirts of Bexhill.
The Home Office announced in March last year that they were seeking to bring forward proposals to open an accommodation centre on the site of the former prison. Last summer, they confirmed that if the plan were to go ahead, it would be used for ‘detained’ purposes only, meaning that asylum seekers residing there would not be free to come and go.
A final decision on whether the proposals would go ahead had been due to made by the Home Office in January. However, it is now looking unlikely that the necessary surveys and assessments will be completed by the end of this month. The MP has therefore decided to go ahead with a public meeting ahead of the final Home Office decision.
Commenting on his decision to hold a public meeting, Huw said:
“When the Home Office announced their intention to bring forward proposals to open an asylum seeker accommodation centre at the Northeye site, I pledged to share all available information I received about the plan with constituents, and to hold a public meeting when details of the proposal had been confirmed.
“Although we are still waiting to hear if the Home Office will go ahead with their proposal, I recognise that there may still be demand for a public meeting and so have decided to go ahead and hold a public meeting this month.”
The meeting will be held at St Augustine’s Church, St Augustine’s Close, Bexhill, TN39 3AZ on Friday 26 January. Doors will open at 5.30pm for a prompt 6pm start. Attendance will be based on a first come, first seated basis.