Proposed asylum seeker accommodation at Northeye
I am very sorry for the understandable concern that the proposed asylum seeker accommodation centre in Little Common has caused. I fully recognise the significant challenges posed by this proposal and can assure you that I will seek the answers to questions that are raised with me by local residents.
The decision to select this site was made by the Home Office. I was only told about the decision three days before the proposal was announced on 29 March. It has been suggested that I recommended this site to the Home Office. I most certainly did not. Last year, following queries by constituents, I asked the then Immigration Minister if the site was being considered. I was told it was not. I gave my views on the site, and the proximity to the town, at that time.
Following the announcement of the proposal, at my request, the Home Office committed to working closely with me and the wider community. Since then, I have had meetings and regular discussions with the Immigration Minister, convened and chaired a meeting between the Home Office officials leading the on the proposals and the leaders of our statutory local service providers, and met, and continue to have discussions with, local residents about the challenges of the proposal.
I have committed to publishing all of the information that has been provided to me about the proposal by the Home Office. I will continue to ensure that my website is fully updated going forward.
Bexhill and Battle Observer articles
Government asylum policy reform