A COUPLE’S wedding has been cancelled because the hotel was booked out to house asylum seekers.
Chris Wise, 74, and Carole Haragan, 68, were told every room in the venue had been booked until the end of December next year.
1Carole Haragan and Chris Wise, whose wedding was cancelled because the hotel is being used to house asylum seekersCredit: SWNSAnd they are furious with hotel bosses in Ashford, Kent, because they thought their wedding was confirmed in a contract.
Mr Wise said: “It was five months ago that we booked it and paid the deposit.
“We were in a state of shock and angry because we thought we had a contract with them and they totally ignored it.
“They gave us our money back as if that was the end of it.”
The couple are now in talks with a new venue but feel more needs to be done to find more suitable locations to house asylum seekers.
He added: “Other councils with the same problems got a temporary injunction preventing it happening until it was assessed whether that hotel was actually suitable.
“Nothing like that has happened in Ashford.
“It shows a total disregard for the people who live in the town.
“The Home Office now has two huge hotels in Ashford full of asylum seekers.
“They have got to go somewhere of course, but this asylum problem is a national problem, not a Kent problem. The rest of the country should be doing their bit.”
Earlier this week, Ashford Borough Council released a statement saying it is “extremely angry” with the Home Office for booking out a hotel without liaising with the local authority.
Council leader Gerry Clarkson said the “situation cannot continue” adding: “We have no control over this decision at all, and are extremely angry at the Home Office on how they have handled this situation,” he said.
“They have ignored not only our views, but those of Kent County Council, Kent Police and local health services. They have shown a complete disregard for us and the local community, and this situation cannot continue.
“All Kent and Medway local authority leaders are writing jointly to the Secretary of State for the Home Office to ask her to stop using the county as an easy fix for what is a national, strategic issue.”
In a statement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain.
“The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 37,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £5.6million a day.
“The use of hotels is a short-term solution and we are working hard with local authorities to find appropriate accommodation.”
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk