Today, I convened and chaired a meeting in Bexhill with Home Office Officials and leaders of our local service providers to discuss the plans for Northeye and the community challenges which this proposal has raised.
Our aim was to seek more detail about the proposed Asylum Centre, to connect those who run our local public services with Home Office officials responsible for the project and to raise the questions and concerns which have been brought to me by residents.
We gained more information about the site, those who will potentially be accommodated and how the Home Office will work to ensure resources are available and concerns met.
The attendees at the meeting were the Home Office, Sussex Police, NHS Sussex, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council. Our Police and Crime Commissioner and the Leaders of both our County and District Council were in attendance as well as Councillors representing the local area. Our agenda was as follows:
- Update on proposals from Home Office
- Planning process and public consultation
- Health provision and expected public impact
- Policing and security in and outside the centre
- Fire and Rescue impacts
- Adult social care impacts
- Impact on homes immediately adjacent to the centre
- Next steps, mechanism for further engagement and correspondence
I will publish information from the meeting once those who attended have had the opportunity to review it over the next 48 hours. I remain committed to ensuring that information about this project is made available to the public.
At the close of the meeting, we were all made aware that Bexhill Town Council had invited Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and I to a public meeting on Wednesday 26th April. I was not consulted on the meeting or the date prior to it being announced; this is a date when I have to be in Parliament so I will not be able to attend. I remain committed to putting on a public meeting when we have more detailed information to share.