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Factsheet: Linton Asylum Accommodation

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The unprecedented and unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings continues to put huge pressure on the UK’s broken asylum system.

The sharp increase in crossings means about 37,000 destitute migrants are currently being accommodated in hotels – costing the taxpayer, when including those on resettlement schemes in hotels, £4.7 million a day.

This severe pressure on the system means claims from genuine asylum seekers are taking too long to process and is taking away from resources to support people through safe and legal routes to the UK.

The New Plan for Immigration will fix this broken asylum system, allowing us to support those in genuine need while preventing abuse of the system and deterring illegal entry to the UK.

What happens to migrants once they arrive in the UK via small boat?

  • Small boat crossings are dangerous, unnecessary and put lives at risk. There have been appalling and preventable tragedies in the Channel which must stop.
  • The New Plan for Immigration will deter illegal entry to the UK, break the business model of people smugglers and protect the lives of those they endanger.
  • From 14 April 2022, the Ministry of Defence will take the lead in operations in the Channel which will allow Border Force to use their surveillance expertise and continue to collaborate with their French counterparts to prevent crossings.
  • Migrants will be intercepted by vessels chartered for the purpose and brought to facilities in Dover to begin processing their asylum claims.
  • Full screening of people’s identity, security checks, initial asylum screening and processing is undertaken at the Western Jet Foil in Dover and Manston, Kent.
  • Migrants will then be securely moved to suitable accommodation locations as quickly as possible.

Asylum reception centres - more cost-effective accommodation for asylum seekers

  • The introduction of new asylum reception centres to provide basic accommodation and process claims will help to end the government’s use of hotels to accommodate migrants who have entered the UK illegally.
  • The new site will provide safe, suitable and more cost-effective accommodation for asylum seekers.
  • New accommodation at Linton will work towards ending the costly use of hotels for asylum seekers while putting the New Plan for Immigration into action to help speed up the processing of asylum claims.
  • We are also phasing out the unsustainable use of hotels by the introduction of a new and fairer asylum accommodation system.

What is Linton? 

  • Linton-On-Ouse is located in North Yorkshire.
  • The Home Office, supported by the Ministry of Defence, is working to transform the current site at RAF Linton-On-Ouse into suitable accommodation for asylum seekers in response to the increasing pressures on the UK asylum system.
  • Residents are due to be accommodated at the site in the coming weeks.
  • As the site develops, we will work closely with stakeholders, including local authorities and our contractors, to ensure suitable accommodation is provided for those seeking asylum.
  • By designing the site to be as self-sufficient as possible we will minimise the impact on local communities and services.

Who will be accommodated in the new asylum reception centre at Linton? 

  • Linton will provide safe and cost-effective accommodation for some single adult males who are claiming asylum in the UK who meet the relevant suitability criteria.
  • Only asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute will be accommodated in the new reception centre at Linton.
  • There are no plans to accommodate families with children at the site.

Why Linton? 

  • The site is set in the countryside in North Yorkshire, with space for residents to spend time in the grounds.
  • This decision will create new jobs and bring new investment into the area, following the draw-down of the RAF facility.
  • Linton will provide full-board accommodation for residents and on-site recreation, retail, faith and worship and medical services will be available.
  • By designing the site to be as self-sufficient as possible we will minimise the impact on local communities and services.
  • When off-site services are required, transport services will be available.

How long will asylum seekers be accommodated at Linton? 

  • As plans for the site develop, we are assessing how long asylum seekers will be accommodated there.
  • Those housed at Linton may be moved depending on the continued suitability of the individual to be onsite or on the conclusion of their asylum application.

How many asylum seekers will be housed at Linton? 

  • The Home Office will work with our future service provider to ensure the site is operationally viable and minimises any impact on the wider community.
  • While details are being finalised, we will initially look to accommodate upwards of 500 people at Linton.

What about local people living near Linton? 

  • By designing the site to be as self-sufficient as possible, we will minimise the impact on local communities and services.
  • There will be onsite recreational and cultural activities to occupy residents.
  • We will work closely with local political leaders and their officials and other local partners to manage the impact on the local area.
  • Similar Home Office sites make significant contributions to the local economy and have offered employment opportunities in the broader community.

Are people able to come and go as they please?

  • Those living at the site will be free to come and go but are expected to be on site overnight.
  • If a resident is not back on site by 11pm the team will make a courtesy call to the individual to ensure they are alright and do not need assistance.  This is not under curfew conditions; it is based on following up on the safety and welfare of the individual.
  • There will be onsite recreational and cultural activities.

Will people who come here through safe routes be accommodated at Linton?

  • People who travel to the UK through safe and legal routes will not be accommodated.

How much is this going to cost the UK taxpayer? 

  • The use of contingency accommodation for asylum seekers (including Afghan refugees), such as hotels, is costing the taxpayer £4.7 million a day (this includes costs for all asylum seekers and those relocated under Op Pitting).
  • Plans to develop Linton will ensure suitable and cost-effective accommodation is provided for some single adult males seeking asylum.
  • It would not be appropriate to comment further while planning is ongoing.

Is Linton suitable for accommodating people? 

  • We have a legal obligation to provide destitute asylum seekers with accommodation.
  • We are committed to securing the welfare of asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute and keep our processes under constant review.
  • Linton will provide safe, secure and fit for purpose accommodation.
  • Onsite facilities at Linton will ensure the essential needs of those accommodated there are met.
  • There will be robust processes in place to assess and manage vulnerabilities.
  • We will work with the service provider and local transport companies to ensure those housed at Linton are able to obtain all their essential needs.

Will vulnerable people be housed at Linton? 

  • We will carefully assess every individual’s suitability to reside at Linton and will use a robust screening process to ensure that Linton accommodates only single adult males who are considered suitable to reside at Linton.
  • Each person’s suitability will be assessed at regular intervals.
  • There will be medical services on site at Linton.
  • All asylum seekers may contact Migrant Help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if they need help, advice, or guidance, that includes raising issues relating to safeguarding.

Who is running Linton?

  • Linton will be operated on behalf of the Home Office by an existing asylum accommodation provider.
  • Further information will be shared as plans for the site develop.

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