Home Office ‘evasive’ on Wethersfield asylum plans
Witham MP Priti Patel has called on the Government to be transparent and clarify their plans for the length of time they expect the Wethersfield site to be used for asylum accommodation, following reports this weekend that the Home Office is planning to use the site for five years. The reports refer to internal Home Office documents, produced prior to the use of the site being announced, suggesting that the site will be needed for five years to provide value for money.
Despite being questioned by Priti and local service providers over their plans, the Home Office has not stated publicly how long they plan to use the site for. Priti, who has written to the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister about this, said:
“The Home Office are being evasive over their plans for the future of Wethersfield. They’ve bypassed the usual planning requirements by claiming the site is being used temporarily for emergency purposes and now we see that they have been planning to use the site for five years. The lack of transparency, clarity and accountability is staggering and this must change.
“The local community and service providers in this part of Essex need to know how long Wethersfield will be accommodating asylum seekers and what financial support they will be provided with over this period. The Home Office cannot get away with fobbing people off and they must come clean on their plans.”
Priti Patel MP’s letter to the Home Office is attached is set out below.