Local MP Kevin Foster was notified by the Home Office on 31 August 2022 that they wished to use the Esplanade hotel in Paignton as a temporary accommodation centre for asylum seekers.
Kevin was only consulted as a local stakeholder in his capacity as the constituency MP. Strict Government rules prevent Ministers and MPs from taking decisions which directly affect their own constituencies.
Kevin set out in writing to the Home Office his concerns about the suitability of the Esplanade for this purpose, but the Home Office went ahead with the decision, with the first asylum seekers being taken in on Monday 5th September.
On Wednesday 14th September 2022 Kevin held a meeting in London with the senior Home Office official responsible for the decision.
During a frank exchange of views, Kevin set out his constituent’s feedback, and their concerns about this decision. Kevin was told that the use of the hotel would be constantly reviewed during the next 3-6 months, and he was given a categorical assurance that the Home Office had no plans to use additional hotels in Paignton for this purpose.
Kevin made clear that he remains dissatisfied with this decision, and he plans to raise it in a meeting with a Home Office Minister next week.
Kevin will keep residents updated.