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Statement on the proposed accommodation of asylum seekers at the Royal Hotel, Kettering

Your council

08 November 2022

North Northamptonshire Council logo with latest news text

A proposal to accommodate asylum seekers at the Royal Hotel in Kettering was brought to the council’s attention on 27 October 2022. The council was provided with further details including a mobilisation date, a day before the date of mobilisation.

North Northamptonshire Council made an application to the High Court for an interim injunction aimed at stopping the Home Office’s plans to use the Royal Hotel in Kettering to house asylum seekers.

The aim was to stop the proposal and allow time to assess suitable alternative locations.

The council is keen to support the accommodation of asylum seekers within the area but feels that it is important that the location and accommodation is suitable for the purpose and that sufficient time is provided to properly consider issues of safety and the health of all parties concerned.

Emergency injunction applications are considered by the Court without notice to the defendants and without the ability for them to make representations until a later date. The Court determined that they did not want to consider the application on this basis and that all parties should instead be given an opportunity to be heard at the outset. The application was therefore dismissed on this basis; the merits of the application were not considered.

The council is considering whether it should make a further application for an injunction on notice and is awaiting the outcomes of other local authorities who have also taken legal action. It is also continuing to try and seek further confirmation from the Home Office's contractor on key information which will help the council to support the housing of asylum seekers in suitable accommodation in North Northamptonshire.

North Northamptonshire Council takes its responsibility to asylum seekers very seriously. The council has previously offered to have discussions with the Home Office to help identify suitable hotels in the area and we welcome any information they can provide that will allow us to locate suitable alternative accommodation.

We do not feel that the Royal Hotel in Kettering is the appropriate place to accommodate asylum seekers for a number of reasons. We do not feel the proposals have been properly considered to ensure the best possible welfare can be provided to asylum seekers and the local communities in which they are housed. We are now considering our options in light of the injunction’s dismissal by the High Court.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council