Statement on asylum seekers housed by the Home Office at Exmouth hotel

    East Devon District Council has been made aware of the decision by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers in Exmouth and is working with partner organisations to facilitate any support that may be required.

    The council has been informed by the Home Office that an unspecified number of asylum seekers would be housed at a hotel in the town. The council was not involved in or consulted on the decision.

    A number of asylum seekers will be arriving at the accommodation in the coming days.

    The Home Office is funding the accommodation and the security arrangements, and the council will consider how any support needs can best be facilitated, in collaboration with its partner organisations including Devon County Council and NHS Devon.

    Councillor Steve Gazzard, Exmouth Town Council’s chairman, said:

    Exmouth extended an extremely warm welcome to our Afghan families in 2021 and I hope the community will once again help these asylum seekers to feel safe, respected and understood as members of our diverse community.

    The town council will be working with its partners to support the new arrivals and more details will be provided next week on ways in which you can potentially help.

    Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for communities, said:

    We are aware of the Home Office’s commissioning of the hotel, as short-term emergency accommodation for asylum seekers who are at the start of the asylum application process. This is one of many across the country that the Home Office is utilising for this purpose.

    We don’t know how long those placed here will remain in Devon, but we and our District, Parish and Town Councils partners in Devon, and with excellent support from NHS Devon colleagues and the voluntary sector, are well placed to provide care and support to individuals.

    We are extending our hand of welcome to those new arrivals, and with a duty of care, will do all we can to support them.

    NHS Devon’s chief medical officer Dr Nigel Acheson said:

    The NHS in Devon has well-established processes in place to ensure our doctors and other health professionals can provide essential care to support very vulnerable people arriving in our country as refugees or asylum seekers. Local people can continue to access health services as normal.

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