HEREFORD MP Jesse Norman has requested an "urgent meeting" with the Government's immigration minister over plans to house asylum seekers at a city hotel.

It was confirmed at the weekend that Hereford's Three Counties Hotel in Belmont Road has been identified as a site to be used to house asylum seekers after a letter sent to council boss Paul Walker was shared with the Hereford Times by community website Hereford Voice.

The MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire said he has been made aware of correspondence between the Home Office and Herefordshire Council regarding the potential location of asylum seekers in Hereford. 


"I have requested an urgent meeting with the Immigration Minister so that all the facts can be established," he said.

“There is a national need to address this important issue, and Herefordians will naturally want to play their part. But there are also real concerns about the extra pressure which this could create on local services which are already stretched.

"Herefordshire Council is currently under review by an independent Commissioner in relation to Children's Services; the hospital remains under huge pressure in A & E; access to GP and dental care is limited at present.

"It is essential that these fragile but crucial public services should not be further burdened."

The letter, sent to Herefordshire Council by Ann Smith, deputy director of resettlement, asylum support, and integration at the Home Office, says a record number of asylum seekers are currently being supported in Britain due to the "unprecedented number of individuals crossing the Channel in small boats and claiming asylum".


It said the Three Counties Hotel has been identified as a site to be used to house asylum seekers, and sought to confirm that the hotel has a capacity of 120.

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Herefordshire Council has confirmed that the Home Office has been in contact, but said today (February 20) that the plans are a "Home Office matter".

“We can confirm that the council has received a letter from the Home Office regarding the use of Three Counties Hotel as a site to accommodate a number of people seeking asylum," a Herefordshire Council spokesperson said.

"We will be meeting with Government officials and local multi-agency partners in the coming days, but until then this is a Home Office matter and we do not have any further information.”