From the morning of 12 July 2023, the authorities started housing asylum seekers at a former RAF base in Essex. This comes after ministers announced their plans in March to house up to 1,700 male asylum seekers for a maximum of 180 days at the Wethersfield Airfield. Needless to say, all of this is aimed at controlling the government’s spending on hotels.
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The scheme faced backlash from the local authority and residents. Plus, Braintree Council also launched a legal challenge against the government’s decision. Regardless, their efforts to block the plans didn’t prove worthwhile and everything went according to the government’s scheme.
This news is followed by reports revealing that Army families had been sent a week’s notice to vacate the site.
A Home Office spokesperson stated that providing accommodation on surplus military sites will help the government save money and run things in an orderly fashion. Moreover, it offers suitable accommodation for people arriving in the UK in small boats, ultimately bringing down the spending on hotels. The selected accommodation sites are where asylum seekers will be housed while they wait for a decision on their claim. The spokesperson further added that the government is collaborating with councils and key partners to manage the effects of utilizing such locations, along with liaising with local police to ensure appropriate arrangements are made.
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