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Our village surgeries and schools are full and transport is restricted… why has the Govt put migrants in a hotel here?

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JUST across the slow-flowing Thames from Prince William’s Windsor home, pretty Datchet is an unlikely setting for Britain’s unfurling asylum crisis.
A tourist haven, its neat village green is bordered by the 17th Century Manor Hotel, which boasts of its “views of the Windsor Castle grounds”.
Solicitor Amit Verma (left) who is a member of Datchet Parish Council and property developer Nigel Knighton, outside the luxury Manor Hotel that's been taken over to house migrants9Solicitor Amit Verma (left) who is a member of Datchet Parish Council and property developer Nigel Knighton, outside the luxury Manor Hotel that’s been taken over to house migrantsCredit: Jon BondJust across the slow-flowing Thames from Prince William’s Windsor home, pretty Datchet is an unlikely setting for Britain’s unfurling asylum crisis9Just across the slow-flowing Thames from Prince William’s Windsor home, pretty Datchet is an unlikely setting for Britain’s unfurling asylum crisisCredit: Jon BondOnce a social focal point for the village, the Manor’s downstairs windows are now blacked out and a sign on the door says: 'Hotel closed to the general public'9Once a social focal point for the village, the Manor’s downstairs windows are now blacked out and a sign on the door says: ‘Hotel closed to the general public’Credit: Jon BondNow the boutique hotel — until recently a luxury wedding venue — has been requisitioned by the ­Government as emergency accommodation for migrants.
And the decision has been met with dismay by many in this true blue corner of Royal Berkshire.
As I meet concerned locals on the village green, the blue flashing lights of motorcycle outriders announce Prince William is passing the hotel in a black Range Rover.
Property developer Nigel Knighton says as the motorcade passes: “The facilities in the village are nowhere near adequate for the asylum seekers.
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“But they must feel they’ve arrived in heaven, living next to the Royal Family. They have a prime view.”
Pointing to the hotel’s mock Tudor facade, he adds: “People would get married there, have drinks at the pub over the road and photos by the river.
“It used to be called the wedding village. But that’s gone now and it means other shops and businesses in the village have suffered and are closing too.”
The Manor — and a string of other desirable hotels up and down the country — have been block-booked by the Home Office as Britain’s asylum system threatens to disintegrate.
Local people are furious
There is a backlog of more than 120,000 asylum seekers with applications outstanding, the average case taking 480 days to process.
It means thousands of migrants are living in hotels, with taxpayers picking up a daily £6.8million tab.

Last month the Home Office began moving migrants into the Manor Hotel, which was advertising a room for two at £130 earlier in the year.
The local council say the hotel is providing “around 100 contingency accommodation beds”.
Tory Datchet Parish Councillor Amit Verma, 39, told me: “Residents are totally against it. We weren’t consulted at all.
“The hotel was the heart of the village and important for its prosperity. Local people are furious.”
The solicitor and dad-of-one said villagers are now battling to get the decision overturned.
Thousands of migrants are living in hotels, with taxpayers picking up a daily £6.8million tab9Thousands of migrants are living in hotels, with taxpayers picking up a daily £6.8million tabCredit: APThe local council is opposing the arrival of the migrants - claiming it was not consulted about the plan9The local council is opposing the arrival of the migrants – claiming it was not consulted about the planCredit: Jon BondPrince William in his Range Rover with Police motorcycle outriders complete with back-up protection officers driving past The Manor Hotel9Prince William in his Range Rover with Police motorcycle outriders complete with back-up protection officers driving past The Manor HotelCredit: Jon BondThe local Conservative Party have leafletted villagers’ homes, saying that the unitary authority was given just 36 hours’ notice of the plan.
The leader of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council Andrew Johnson wrote to under-fire Home Secretary Suella Braverman telling how ten homeless people who had been living at the hotel were given 24 hours to leave.
Demanding a meeting with Home Office officials, he said “residents are understandably concerned about the impact on their day-to-day lives”.
He pointed out that Datchet has “almost no local support services for this cohort”, that public transport is “restricted” and that local schools are full.
Once a social focal point for the village, the Manor’s downstairs windows are now blacked out and a sign on the door says: “Hotel closed to the general public”.
Mum-of-two Anna Mistlin, 40, said: “The Manor Hotel is in the heart of Datchet’s conservation area. It should be where the village comes together, it should be the heart of the community. 
“Now the shutters are down and it’s closed to the public.”
Anna, who runs a talent agency, added: “The support systems aren’t here for asylum seekers. 
“The doctors’ surgery and the village school are already over-subscribed.”
It is unclear how many asylum seekers are living at the hotel. During my visit to the village on two days this week, the hotel residents appeared largely to keep them-selves to themselves.
An Iranian man in his 20s politely declined to talk when we visited a local shop, while Omar, an Ethiopian dad in his 30s, told me he had been waiting for eight years for his immigration status to be decided.
After strolling for a cigarette on the banks of the Thames, he said: “It’s a nice village but there’s nothing to do.
“Most people at the hotel have recently come from France, some are just 14 or 15.
“We do our own cleaning. We’ve complained about the food but nothing changed.”
Working at the nearby Candy Box corner shop, dad-of-two Selva Kumar, 55, described the migrants as “polite and friendly” when they visited for bread, crisps and soft drinks.
Walking through the village centre, retired magistrate Pauline Allister, 70, said of the asylum seekers: “You don’t really see them around.
“They cause less trouble than when the homeless were living there. But it’s not the ideal place to house asylum seekers — there’s nothing for them to do here.
“We haven’t got a bus service, there are trains but they’re expensive.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded this week that the migrant crisis is a “serious and escalating problem” and that “not enough” asylum claims are being processed.
Just four per cent of claims made by people who crossed the Channel in small boats last year have been processed.
As the backlog stacks up, Home Office officials were said to be “refreshing booking.com” in the hunt for more hotel rooms.
Inner-city accommodation is either already full or is too expensive, which is why rooms are being sought in the Tory-voting shires.
Mr Sunak revealed that 4,500 more hotel beds have been booked since September 30 — including some in his own Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire.
Allerton Court Hotel, a ten-minute drive from Mr Sunak’s home, is a grade II listed Georgian manor house which will be used to accommodate Channel migrants.
The move comes despite the local Hambleton District Council raising concerns with the Home Office that the hotel was already being used for local homeless people and Ukrainian families. The three-star hotel, with 44 ensuite rooms, is in the pleasant market town of Northallerton, which has a population of 16,000.
Locals this week said the town did not have the resources to cope. Retired carer Jill Murdoch, 66, said: “I’ve been waiting two years for a dentist appointment and doctors’ appointments are now an eight-week wait. I don’t see how they can accommodate extra people. 
“Rishi Sunak lives around the corner in a manor house. Why doesn’t he house them?”
Carly Taggart, 36, a store supervisor said: “We already have to travel to Leeds or Middlesbrough for hospital appointments. How are asylum seekers going to get down there with no transport?
“Rishi doesn’t have a clue how it all works — he’s very wealthy.”
Store worker Amy Ward, 29, said: “Our schools are overcrowded as it is, so how will they get education?”
Unemployed Pippa Dewhirst, 44, supports the scheme, saying: “They have to go somewhere, so why not here? It’s a great town.”
But she added: “The Government needs to provide finances for it and adequate facilities.”
Hambleton Council say they won’t pursue legal action to try to overturn the move — but other councils are heading for the courts.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council won a temporary injunction against the Norfolk resort’s Embassy Hotel being used for asylum seekers.
It came after the Home Office booked another “very successful, sustainable hotel” popular with holidaymakers.
Last week Ipswich Borough Council was granted an interim injunction over plans to further use the city’s Novotel for migrant accommodation, but it doesn’t apply to around 70 asylum seekers who are already there.
And East Riding of Yorkshire council won a temporary order preventing the Home Office using Humber View Hotel after complaints that its remote location was unsuitable.
Prince William now lives close to the village of Datchet9Prince William now lives close to the village of DatchetCredit: GettyUnder-fire Home Secretary Suella Braverman9Under-fire Home Secretary Suella BravermanCredit: GettyThe Sun's Oliver Harvey in Datchet9The Sun’s Oliver Harvey in DatchetCredit: Jon BondTowie star single again as she splits from celeb boyfriend after 'endless rows'I love a juicy pout... I went from 0ml to a whopping 13ml over the years
The Home Office says its policy of housing asylum seekers in hotels is “unacceptable” and a “short-term solution”. But it means the asylum crisis has now moved from the Channel coast and on to many voters’ doorsteps.
Its success — or otherwise — may decide Mr Sunak’s fate at the polls.
Additional reporting: Alethea Farline

Story Credit: thesun.co.uk

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