At our last members’ meeting we heard from the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group on their campaign to stop the opening of a new accommodation centre for people seeking asylum at RAF Linton. This was a group of local people who came together as they were concerned at this development. In standing up against this way of accommodating people seeking asylum, they were subject to many attacks.
But they stood firm with support from a number of organisations across the country including our some of members and the national City of Sanctuary network. And we heard this week that the government is abandoning their plans. We congratulate the Linton Action Group – their courage will inspire other groups across the country.
We think that the established practice in this country of accommodating people seeking asylum in the community should continue. Many people will go onto get refugee status, and we think that integration should start at day one.
And we know from the experience from the use of former army barracks at Napier in Kent, that despite Home Office protestations to the contrary, for so many people accommodated there it felt like detention to them.
Let’s hope that this decision marks an end to the government using this type of policy, and we can continue the established tradition in this country of supporting people, who have fled persecution and are seeking safety in this country, not in former military camps but in our communities.