Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Wales Online
Wales Online
Lydia Stephens

Asylum seekers housed in Snowdonia hotel have turned up in "flip flops and t-shirts with absolutely nothing'

Asylum seekers house in a Snowdonia hotel have turned up in "flip flops and t-shirts with absolutely nothing." There are 83 men being housed at the hotel which has been taken over by the Home Office on a three-month contract.

A local shop worker described how men from the hotel who visited her store were "extremely polite and often scared/confused as they know nothing of the local shops." She said: "Most are wearing flip flops and t-shirts/hoodies as they are without suitable clothing. These guys have absolutely nothing, just the few clothes on their backs. I feel extremely sorry for them, that they are being spoken about so badly."

The site has been classed as a short-term "emergency overflow facility. It is housing asylum seekers on a temporary basis because long-term facilities are full. As asylum applications are processed, and bed spaces become available, the intention is to move claimants from overflow sites, NorthWalesLive reports.

READ MORE: 'Our daughter disappeared a year ago. We'll never give up looking for her'

Aberconwy MP Robin Millar is pushing the UK immigration minister Robert Jenrick to draw down numbers at the hotel.. The facility has caused widespread alarm in the area with police mounting patrols to reassure anxious residents.

Rumours have fuelled these fears. Multiple reports of a stabbing at the hotel proved false and concerns the area would be flooded with young Albanian men have also been unfounded.

In a Facebook briefing, Mr Millar outlined the mix of people housed at the hotel. “They are all single, all male and there’s a whole variety of different nationalities,” he said. “At first we were very concerned they were all Albanians – we’d all heard stories in the national press about Albanians recruiting people to operate in gangs in the UK and I’m glad to say that’s not what has happened here.

“I think there were half-a-dozen, certainly less than 10, and now there are only three Albanians on site. But there are other nationalities, Eritreans, Egyptians, Iranians, Afghanis and Iraqis, so a whole mixture. There was a lot of concern about the impact of this on the local community for obvious reasons.”

Three of the men have since left the hotel, prompting concerns they had absconded and were roaming the community. But as asylum seekers, they are free to leave if they have friends or contacts with whom they can stay, providing they stay in touch with the Home Office, and it is believed this is what happened..

If cross-Channel numbers continue to increase, there are fears temporary sites will be asked to house more people and its Home Office contract could be extended. Mr Millar pledged to fight this all the way. He told the immigration minister: “If this is emergency accommodation, I do not want any more people here to fill it up further.

“Also, I want it closed down as soon as possible. If there’s a list of hotels, I want (hotel) to be at the top of that list to be closed, because this is the wrong thing in the wrong place. There are no local facilities for the people in the hotel. It is not safe and it is not sustainable.”

Asylum seekers are free to come and go from the hotel and have been exploring the local community. Karen Lloyd Owen, a head teacher of a local school has been quick to dispel rumours that children have been approached by the men.

One local woman has said the hotel's new notoriety is drawing "lots of traffic with people rubbenecking at the few men walking around." She said: " If you see any of them, show them some respect and courtesy. They are scared young men.”

Rumours of a stabbing at the hotel on Tuesday proved false. “This simply isn’t true,” said Mr Millar. “I’ve checked with the police, I’ve checked with all the public services.” An ambulance was called but this was for a “health emergency”, almost an inevitability among people who have spent months on arduous journeys, often living rough.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.