Council Leader's letter to Home Secretary

Dispersal of asylum seekers to Trafford

I am writing to you following your recent decision to locate up to 112 asylum seekers in the Ashley Hotel in Hale. As you might already be aware, this has generated considerable public controversy in the local community, and I wanted to set out the council’s concerns about the lack of dialogue and planning. My officers have previously written to your officials but have not received an adequate response, hence I am now writing to you.

I accept these are not easy decisions, however you have presented us with a fait accompli, working with Britannia Hotels (the owners of Ashley Hotel) before looping-in the council at the eleventh hour. Our officers have had to move with haste to ensure that essential wrap-around services like health screening and safeguarding are in place.

We will play our part with professionalism and dedication, but this arrangement is far from ideal.

My point in writing to you is to underline that asylum seekers are often vulnerable people with complex needs, who require specialist care and support.  We object to the principle of using hotels in this way as they are not a suitable type of accommodation to house and support asylum seekers in the right way. This situation is made worse by your department’s disjointed and confusing implementation.

Trafford has a proud tradition of welcoming newcomers and has vibrant migrant communities. In recent years, we have become home to people from Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine as well as a significant number of Hong Kongers.

At the time of writing, the exact number of asylum seekers, their specific needs, and the length of time they will be staying there at the Ashley Hotel, has not been shared with us. I would, therefore, urge you to clarify the matters I have raised as soon as possible so that our teams can make all necessary arrangements.

This is a public call and I intend to publish this letter on our website.

Yours sincerely, 

Councillor Tom Ross

Leader of Trafford Council







Posted on Friday 13th January 2023