Wigan Council statement, October 30 2023

A statement from Councillor Dane Anderton on the Home Office announcement to stand down Kilhey Court in its use as a hotel used to accommodate asylum seekers.

Councillor Dane Anderton, cabinet member for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “On Monday morning we received confirmation from the Home Office that Kilhey Court is being stood down in its use to house asylum seekers by March 2024 following the concerns we have raised.

“We welcome this news and thank all those who showed patience and persistence in ensuring our concerns were heard, and to all those who have supported our efforts to raise these concerns through the correct channels.

“Wigan Borough has a strong track record of supporting non-UK and UK residents who are vulnerable and in need and we remain committed to supporting any individuals in a way that is as responsible and safe as possible.

“After we were notified of the Home Office decision to use a second hotel in our borough, we wrote to them on a number of occasions expressing our serious concerns that Kilhey Court was completely unsuitable and that they reconsider their decision.

“We are pleased that our concerns have now been heard and acted upon.

“However, we are yet again extremely disappointed that we have been consistently sidestepped by the Home Office in their decisions, and we insist that national government and the Home Office communicate more effectively with local authorities to ensure that residents and communities can be kept better informed.

“This is a short-term solution for a long-term issue and we’d urge government to properly address the issue to provide stability to asylum seekers and to remove the financial pressures from local authorities and taxpayers who are left to pick up the bill for these poor decisions.”

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