ASYLUM SEEKERS have now permanently left a Herefordshire hotel, a month earlier than expected.

The Talbot Hotel in Leominster is no longer being used to house asylum seekers, with all of its occupants leaving the premises on January 19.

The hotel has been used as ‘contingency accommodation’ for families awaiting refugee status since the summer, with Herefordshire Council recently saying that it would continue to be used until the end of February.


Kathy Bland of Refugee Response Leominster and Beyond said she is uncertain of why the hotel has closed early, but she suspects that it has been done to help fulfil the Home Office’s pledge to close 50 contingency accommodation hotels before the end of the month.

She said that the moving process has been smooth, with staff ensuring that the families were well prepared and given notice beforehand so that they had time to pack their belongings.

The residents have now been dispersed across the country, said Mrs Bland, with two families being placed in holiday ‘pods’ outside a hotel in Dunchurch, which reportedly have issues with heating and running water.

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She added that all of the asylum-seeking children who had attended schools in the county would now be out of education as they have been moved to areas where there are no school places available to them.

“The children haven’t been factored into the decision,” she said.

“Children who are currently in hotels and pods should have been moved to Herefordshire where there are school places.

“It’s been a lottery where they’ve ended up.

“One family that would have gone to Dunchurch is being housed by locals.

“If we could have found more host families then we would have.

“More notice could have meant more hosts.

“If anyone locally comes forward, they might be able to house the two families that are currently in pods.”