District council to mount legal challenge over Government plans to open asylum seekers centre in area

Hambleton District Council has instructed lawyers to bring a legal challenge over Government plans for an asylum seekers centre at Linton-on-Ouse.

The plans to open the reception centre were announced earlier this month by Home Secretary Priti Patel at the same time as she unveiled the controversial Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda.

Dr Justin Ives, Hambleton’s Chief Executive said: “As I’m sure you can imagine, my team has been working tirelessly, since the Government announced their plans for a centre for asylum seekers at Linton-on-Ouse, to fully understand the proposals and potential ramifications from both a local authority and the local community’s perspective. We have also been carefully listening to what local communities have been saying about the potential impact on Linton-on-Ouse, surrounding communities and our district in general.

“We now understand from subsequent conversations this week, that the Government has every intention of pressing ahead with the plans. In response to this, Hambleton District Council has instructed lawyers to start work on mounting a legal challenge of the Government’s decision.”

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Dr Ives added: “As the local authority, we are extremely disappointed by the lack of consultation and involvement on this so far and have made this clear to Government during our discussions.

“I want to be very clear that the council is fully committed to working with and supporting the local community of Linton-on-Ouse, as well as other surrounding communities going forward.

“I know there are great concerns about this proposal and the lack of consultation, but we as a council are determined to take whatever course of action is required to secure the best possible outcome for our district.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The asylum reception centre at Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, will help end our reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer £4.7m a day.

“We are consulting with local stakeholders about the use of the site.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix this broken asylum system, allowing us to support those in genuine need while preventing abuse of the system and deterring illegal entry to the UK.”

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