We have all been shocked by the proposal by the Conservative UK Government to use the Stradey Park Hotel as emergency accommodation for 200 asylum seekers from July. Tory Ministers are scrabbling around looking for more hotel accommodation, because of their monumental failure to process the backlog of asylum claims, so those from safe countries could be sent home.
This proposal shows the utter arrogance of Tory Ministers who have failed to properly consult surrounding communities, the Welsh Government, Carmarthenshire County Council, the police and many others and, following secretive talks with the hotel owners, rejected all other alternatives and run roughshod over local opinion.
Wales is a welcoming country and, here in Llanelli, we have proudly played our part down the years in supporting those who have fled war and persecution elsewhere in the world in pursuit of safety.
However, this proposal is unworkable, risks putting extra pressure on local services and creates a situation that could prove problematic for nearby residents and for the asylum seekers themselves.
I will continue to vigorously oppose this plan for those reasons.
Together with local councillors, I am actively campaigning to reverse this plan and we are doing everything we can to stand up for the communities we represent. We have offered our support to the Action Committee set up by local residents and are urging people to sign their petition, either online or in person.
In Parliament, I have already questioned the Minister for Immigration directly to emphasise the strength of opposition against this and requested urgent meetings with him, Clearsprings (an intermediary that manages the accommodation) and the hotel owners themselves to keep up the pressure for this proposal to be dropped.
I know that the County Council are also exploring all options open to them too.
This is a fast moving situation and I will do my best to keep people informed of what is happening and to let them how they can get involved to help.