Last week we were informed by the Home Office of their decision to use a hotel in Paignton to provide accommodation to asylum seekers.

Central Government has a statutory duty to accommodate people who are seeking asylum. An asylum seeker is someone who has left their country, often suddenly, because they are faced with persecution, war or violence and cannot get protection there. Due to the number of boats that cross the English Channel continuing to rise the Home Office is having to rely on using a range of approaches across the country to provide accommodation for those who have fled their country.

The decision by the Home Office to use a property in Paignton has happened very quickly but what is known so far is that the asylum seekers will be accommodated on a full-board basis within the property. The Home Office are providing support on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, along with security staff. This is all being funded by the Home Office. 

Those being housed in Torbay are likely to be asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK over the past 10 days, although some may have been in the country longer. 

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader for Torbay Council, said: “We were informed late last week that asylum seekers will be arriving in Paignton and we are working hard to find out as much information as we can so we can keep our residents informed and up to date with what is a new situation to all of us. 

“I want to reiterate that as a council we do not have a say in how many asylum seekers are accommodated here as the Home Office makes this decision, along with where they will be staying or for how long. We have put together a multi-agency group that are working to ensure the appropriate help and support is made available as well as to respond to the matters raised by businesses and residents.”

We have put together responses to some of the frequently asked questions about this. You can read these on our housing webpages. 

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