AN MP is keeping up the pressure on the Government to reverse its decision to house up to 1,500 male asylum seekers in a small North Yorkshire village.

Residents of Linton-on-Ouse are gravely concerned about the impact the proposed asylum centre at the former RAF base in the village will have on their community.

Hambleton District Council has already launched legal action in a bid to have the decision reversed and Thirsk MP Kevin Hollinrake is supporting the action.

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There have also been concerns about a lack of consultation over the plans and village hall meetings held about the matter have been packed out as residents try to get more information about the proposals.

Questions asked by residents about the centre have also gone unanswered by Government officials.

The Northern Echo: Kevin Hollinrake MP speaks to Linton-on-Ouse villagers who say plans to create an asylum reception centre at the former RAF base are at the ‘wrong plan, wrong placeKevin Hollinrake MP speaks to Linton-on-Ouse villagers who say plans to create an asylum reception centre at the former RAF base are at the ‘wrong plan, wrong place

Mr Hollinrake said he met with Home Office officials on Friday to ascertain how the Government will improve communication lines with residents going forward.

He said: "As residents will know, I have made it clear the lack of response to residents' concerns has been unacceptable and they have confirmed there will be answers to these questions before Thursday.

"Hambleton District Council are continuing to pursue a legal case and I understand they are communicating updates to residents via the Parish Council.

"The Home Office have stated they are setting up sub-groups focussed on health, policing and fire.

"Home Office officials will be represented at the parish council meeting on Thursday and are looking into more regular weekly meetings with residents going forward.

"I am told an informal route to send queries and concerns into will also be created.

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"I have once again reiterated this decision has not been considered adequately or appropriately and I fully support Hambleton Council in its quest for a legal route to reverse this.

"With regards to the detainee element of the site, I understand the confusion was due to a misunderstanding at the first parish council meeting and the site, should it go ahead, will not have detainees initially, but may do in future."

Mr Hollinrake said he will be meeting with Home Office officials again tomorrow (Tuesday, May 16), along with Hambleton Council representatives and the region's Police and Crime Commissioner.

He said: "I fully understand the ramifications this is having for residents of Linton and the surrounding area and give my assurances I will continue to work on stopping these plans."


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