Home Office use of Bar Hill hotel
The Home Office has informed local councils that they will be using the Cambridge Bar Hill Hotel as accommodation for asylum seekers. This is part of a national programme throughout the UK to deal with an increase in the number of people arriving in the UK and the decision by the Home Office to ‘disperse’ asylum seekers across the country. We have put together these questions and answers to help keep the local community informed.
Why have asylum seekers been placed in hotels
The Home Office recently told us that they intended to use the Cambridge Bar Hill hotel as temporary accommodation. This is due to the number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats continuing to rise. Hotels are being used across the country. Arrangements at the hotel are being managed by a Home Office contractor – in this case, Serco.
Were local councils asked if the hotels could be used for this
The Home Office makes the decision on which properties are used. Local councils were informed that the Home Office had selected the Cambridge Bar Hill hotel for this purpose.
What funding do the councils receiving for this
Local councils receive a small amount of funding from the Home Office for liaison and response co-ordination.
Will the people being accommodated be single persons or families
Who stays at a hotel is based on need and pressures within the asylum system. This information is held by the Home Office. At the start of the arrangement, the Home Office informed local councils that the Cambridge Bar Hill hotel would be used to accommodate families and single women.
How long will they remain in South Cambridgeshire
At the moment we do not know how long the hotel will be used. People will be moved out as other accommodation in the asylum system is made available to them. This means that the people staying in the hotel could change over time.
Will they be given permanent housing in the local area
After the hotel they will be moved on to other temporary dispersed accommodation provided by central government whilst their claim for asylum is considered. This could be anywhere in the country. This accommodation is not provided by the Council.
Where asylum is granted, people are recognised as refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention and are allowed to remain in the UK for five years.
Where the Home Office grants asylum, people will be given a Residence Permit; an identity document allowing the person to work, study, access public funds and find a place to live.
There is no rule to say people must settle where they have been staying while seeking asylum.
How will the Maple Surgery at Bar Hill handle registering new patients and initial support they need
The provider has mobilised dedicated registration clinics utilising additional clinical staff from outside of the Maple surgery staffing structure, the registration and Health Check process has now concluded, the new patients will now receive clinical care directly by the Maple surgery staff.
How will the surgery provide ongoing health care to the guests at the hotel whilst not impacting on the waiting times for existing patients
No patient will be given preferential treatment, patient access is based on clinical need. The practice has since the arrival of the new patients increased the clinical staffing levels at Maple Surgery to support the growth in the registered patient population.
Will the surgery get a second doctor due to the increase in patients registered
As with other GP contracts, the APMS (Alternative Provider Medical Services) contract held by the provider at Maple Surgery does not stipulate workforce requirements or service delivery model. The provider will over the coming months be reviewing the service delivery model and adapting to support the potential increase in patients, this will encompass utilise all different clinical roles not solely GPs.
Will school-age asylum seekers be placed in local schools
Yes. Children residing at the hotel in Bar Hill who are of statutory school age are entitled to access education. Applications for school places will follow the standard school admission process and places will be allocated in the local area.
What additional security has been put in place
The contractors, Serco, are providing additional staff to ensure appropriate 24-hour, 7 days a week, on-site security cover.
What should I do if I experience anti-social behaviour in the village
Email email@example.com or phone 01954 713000. The contractor who is overseeing the hotel, Serco, has a manager on-site and we are in contact with them daily and will raise any concerns with regard to any anti-social behaviour that is reported to us.
The local Police are aware that the hotels are being used to accommodate asylum seekers and are working closely with us and partner agencies.
The Police will deal with any reports or concerns as they would normally do so.
If you have a concern to report, please contact Cambridgeshire Police in the usual ways by either calling 101 or using their online reporting form. Only use 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if a crime is happening right now.
If you have any questions about the provision of the hotel, please contact the Home Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Can asylum seekers claim welfare benefits
Asylum seekers are not able to claim welfare benefits, nor are they allowed to work.
Asylum seekers in hotel accommodation are provided with meals and limited hotel services and currently receive £9.10 per week from the Home Office.
What facilities and areas at the hotel will remain open to the public
The golf club will continue to be available for golf club members and visitors. No other facilities or areas at the hotel will be open to the public.
Why have you made an announcement about the hotel being used in this way
When the Home Office informed us of their decision to use the Cambridge Bar Hill Hotel for refugees seeking asylum in the UK, we had discussions with our local partners, and the Home Office, in order to carefully consider how to communicate what was happening. We understand concerns - given what has happened in some other parts of the UK. However, we also know that once guests are in the hotel the news of their stay will spread very quickly, including via media and social media. We therefore felt it was better to be transparent and honest with our communities about the Home Office’s decision.
How do I contact the Home Office about the scheme?
They can be contacted on email@example.com or 020 7035 4848.
If you have any questions for the Council about this subject, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01954 713000.
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