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Asylum seekers in Sale provoke lively debate
THE decision to house more than 100 asylum seekers in Sale’s Amblehurst Hotel has sparked a lively debate among Messenger readers.
Feelings have been running high on both sides - with Trafford’s politicians expressing serious concern over the short notice they were given for what is expected to be a nine week placement.
Alex McCann from Altrincham HQ criticised Messenger for the way we reported the issue and he also criticised the leaders of Trafford’s Conservative and Labour groups for their approach to this contentious issue.
Mr McCann said: “Sale has a population of 50,000+, is not a small village and should be there to offer help to those who need it. In what is supposed to the giving season, our local politicians are playing the game of there is "No Room At The Inn" and yet come the week of festivities will take any photo opportunity to present themselves as Christian and of faith.
“Matthew Colledge and David Acton need to look at their own political parties failings rather than pitting those who are struggling financially in their own wards against those who are suffering in other countries.”
But Trafford Council leader Matthew Colledge said Mr McCann had over reacted to the situation.
Cllr Colledge said: “Mr McCann seems to be over reacting to the comments I made – which clearly expressed considerable irritation at the bringing in of 104 people with no real notice, no consultation and no option to find alternative solutions whether it be here in Trafford or elsewhere.”
Cllr David Acton, leader of Trafford’s Labour group, said he was sympathetic to the plight of asylum seekers.
“I was critical of SERCO and government Immigration service in the handling of asylum seekers. To my knowledge Trafford has not previously received asylum seekers before and therefore it is wrong to send 104 asylum seekers to the borough without actually discussing beforehand the needs of the people seeking asylum.
“I believe strongly we should always provide help and refuge for people who are fleeing from desperate and life threatening situations.”
A spokesman for SERCO, the company responsible for placing the asylum seekers said: “Serco provides accommodation services in the north west of England for asylum seekers on behalf of the Home Office.
"We are currently using the Amblehurst Hotel to temporarily accommodate a number of asylum seekers who were previously being looked after in Liverpool.
In due course these people will be found further housing throughout the north west of England pending the outcome of the Home office review into their eligibility to claim asylum. At all times we work closely with the local authorities, the Home Office and local services including the police, health and education bodies to carefully manage the safe and appropriate accommodation of asylum seekers in our care.”
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