Concerns remain over use of Blackpool's Metropole Hotel for asylum seekers despite government action

Blackpool’s Metropole Hotel looks set to continue to be used for housing asylum seekers despite government action to relocate migrants from other hotels around the country.
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The Home Office has announced the first 50 hotels across the UK will stop housing asylum seekers by the end of next January with councils, MPs and accommodation providers in those areas already notified.

Blackpool Council and Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative MP Paul Maynard have both confirmed they have not been notified about occupants of the Metropole on Princess Parade being relocated.

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Mr Maynard, whose constituency includes the Metropole, said: “I have not yet been advised on the future of the accommodation at the Metropole.

The Metropole HotelThe Metropole Hotel
The Metropole Hotel

“Having repeatedly made clear it is not a location suitable for such use I very much wish to see asylum seekers relocated as soon as possible. The burden of doing so, however, should not fall on the local authority.

“I have asked ministers to ensure I am kept informed.”

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council said they had also not received a notification.

Around 220 asylum seekers were moved into The Metropole, part of the Britannia Hotels chain, in September 2021 despite council concerns public services were already under pressure.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard
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In November 2022, Mr Maynard told the House of Commons the Metropole should be among the first hotels to be vacated.

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He said there were 400 asylum seekers living there and told Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick the hotel was in the fourth most deprived area of the country “with a host of social problems”.

At the time Mr Jenrick replied that he recognised Blackpool has ‘borne a disproportionate burden’ and pledged to ‘swiftly disperse’ migrants at the Metropole to more appropriate accommodation.

The Home Office has said the initial focus is on hotels which can be exited quickly, have the greatest impact on communities and are costing taxpayers the most money. Latest figures show the government is spending £8m a day on the hotels.

It says the move is also in response to a drop of more than 20 per cent in small boat crossings compared to last year.

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Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: “Our strategy to stop the boats is making progress. With small boat arrivals down more than 20 per cent compared with last year, we can now start to restore these hotels to their rightful use for local communities.”