Extracts of Wigan Council's letter to the Home Office, August 17, 2023
Extracts of Wigan Council’s letter to the Home Office, outlining the local authority’s significant concerns regarding the use of Kilhey Court Hotel, Standish.
“Wigan Borough remains committed to supporting those who are vulnerable and have demonstrated this commitment particularly in the last few years however, we feel that Kilhey Court Hotel is not suitable for the use you intend and that our local services are already stretched beyond capacity with the high numbers of Asylum Seekers we already have in the Borough.
“We are writing to urge that you reconsider the use of this second hotel facility as a matter of urgency.”
Concerns about the positioning of Kilhey Court:
- No local amenities within walking distance
- Limited public transport
- National speed limit on the main road outside the hotel
- No pavement on the hotel side of the road
- No street lighting
- Within the same grounds as 2 residential homes for the elderly
- Large water forms to the rear and side of the hotel
Regarding further wider concerns, the letter adds:
Our concerns remain the same as those set out in previous correspondence but are now considerably increased with this recent proposal:
- The safety of the surrounding community, and need to reduce heightened and growing community tensions.
- The ongoing safety and security of the asylum seeker population, the hotel and Serco staff, and of Council and partner staff supporting the hotel.
- The history of extremist groups’ interest in using this arrangement as a platform to incite hatred and racial unrest. Given Kilhey Court is positioned on the border with Lancashire, we also need to consider the extremist groups operating in this area as well.
- The heightened potential for protests and civil unrest
- The wider implications for our dispersed Asylum Seeker population, and the impact of wider community tensions and unrest on residents from ethnic minority groups.
- The potential for increased criminal behaviour and the impact this will have on all the above, which is fully supported by Greater Manchester and Lancashire Police.
Posted on Tuesday 22nd August 2023