Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner has written to the Home Secretary demanding answers on the debacle that proved to be the Home Office’s initial decision to accommodate asylum seekers at a Carmarthenshire hotel.
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has written a further letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman this week, demanding that questions be answered in regard to the Home Office’s initial decision to accommodate asylum seekers at Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli – which resulted in months of local unrest, tensions, protests, criminal activity and job losses.
Mr Llywelyn described the position as being ‘untenable’ at times from a policing perspective, requiring frontline officers and staff to continually work in challenging circumstances which on occasions has compromised Dyfed-Powys Police’s positive relationship with communities.
He promised that he would write again to the Home Secretary to demand that questions be answered in relation to the decision-making processes and seemingly lack of strategic planning.
On Thursday, October 19 Mr Llywelyn wrote to the Home Secretary, asking:
• Who made the decision in the first instance and at what level or by whom was it authorised?
• Which Minister was responsible for the oversight of the decision?
• Was there a business case produced including the due diligence in ensuing that the decision was feasible and realistic?
• What Risk Assessments were undertaken to ensure that the Home Office were satisfied that this was an appropriate site?
• What are the associated costs incurred in relation to the running of the site since the decision was made to now?
• What are the cost reimbursement plans for local policing and other local services?
Mr Llywelyn said: “I have written a further letter to the Home Secretary this week, demanding that local tax-payers get answers to questions about costs associated with the Home Office’s initial decision to use Stradey Park Hotel to house asylum seekers.
“Who made the decision in the first instance and at what level or by whom as it authorised?
“Where was the business case and the surrounding due diligence in ensuing that the decision was feasible and realistic?
“The costs associated with policing this site have been significant and had been rising continually up to last week.
“Add to that, costs incurred by other service providers such as the Fire Service and the Local Authority, and as importantly, how much have the Home Office themselves spent on the site over recent months?
“Our taxpayers need answers and I urge the Home Office to provide a clear explanation for the position we find ourselves in and the significant pressure which have been placed on local service providers in Carmarthenshire and beyond,” he continued.
“As I mentioned last week, this is the second time in only a matter of couple of years where local communities and service providers in Dyfed-Powys have been put under unnecessary pressures due to the Home Office’s lack of strategic planning and local engagement.
“It is obvious to me that no lessons have been learnt from past experiences, and once again we have been left to pick up the pieces on a local level.
“As you will be aware from previous correspondence, I am fully supportive of the Welsh Government’s strategy to house people in a dispersed model.
“This is sustainable in offering a longer-term solution for asylum seekers within the Dyfed-Powys area. It is a model that the people of Wales support, have embraced and have successfully delivered to re-settle Syrian, Afghan, Ukrainian and general asylum seekers in recent years.
“In my Police and Crime Plan, I set out my vision to keep the communities of Mid and West Wales safe, maintaining trust and confidence in our police and criminal justice system as a whole.
“The action taken by the Home Office has seemingly been in direct opposition to my commitments and I look forward to understanding their decision making on this matter,” he added.