Herefordshire is “doing all it can” to reopen a hotel previously used to house asylum-seeking families but which has been declared unsafe.

The Talbot Hotel in the middle of Leominster took in an undisclosed number of families starting in August, despite some opposition locally including from local MP Sir Bill Wiggin.

But earlier this month, the Home Office and its operator Serco announced that its residents were being relocated due to “operational issues”. Local partners say some have have been taken as far as Crewe and Grantham.


“The local community has welcomed families to Leominster and has been incredibly supportive and sensitive to their needs,” Herefordshire Council chief executive Paul Walker told county councillors on Friday (October 13).

“The hotel is not yet reopened and no one is occupying the building at the moment,” he said.

“But everyone involved is keen for those families who were originally placed at the Talbot to return to Leominster once the hotel is operational again, and we’re doing all we can through the Home Office and Serco with the support of the local community to ensure that happens.”


He added: “It is the decision of the Home Office, working with their local provider, on whether a hotel is fit for purpose.”

Chairman of the council Roger Phillips said: “I’ve also heard representations about some children that were going to the local schools and of course have had to be moved.

“Hopefully they’ll come back.”

Sir Bill said earlier this month he felt a “sense of outrage” that his and others’ warnings over the building had not been heeded.