Anthony has written to the Home Secretary following the news that the Bar Hill Best Western Hotel is to become the latest Cambridgeshire hotel used to house asylum seekers.
Strongly emphasising the welcoming nature of the community in Bar Hill and across South Cambridgeshire, Anthony’s letter questioned the value for money in utilizing a four-star site and pressed the Home Secretary for more information on her decision.
The letter also noted the stress on local amenities such as the GP surgery, which has recently undergone an emergency takeover, and on the limited number of school places available. Anthony also demanded that steps are taken to ensure jobs are protected at the hotel and that residents are kept fully informed, calling for a “safe forum for their questions, comments and concerns.”
Anthony also tabled a series of public questions about the overall scheme, asking if additional funding will be offered to local support services/healthcare providers as well as for an update on plans to decommission hotel accommodation nationwide.
Anthony later commented “South Cambridgeshire is a welcoming community, and I am proud to have supported those fleeing persecution from as far afield as Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and Ukraine, aiding them as they find homes and make lives in our area.
But, as a Conservative and a champion for our local public services, I passionately believe that taxpayers have a right to demand that Government spending represents fair value for money and does not unduly impact on our services. It is far from ideal for anyone to live in a hotel, particularly after facing trauma and conflict. But we need to ensure that any accommodation is best placed for their needs, best suited for the needs of our community, and the best value for the public purse.
So many in the Bar Hill community will warmly welcome those in need of vital safety and shelter, but we must not forget the impact this may have on our community.”