Bride and groom latest couple to have wedding cancelled as Home Office use hotels for asylum seekers – Daily Mail

By Oliver Price For Mailonline
|

11
View
comments

A bride and groom are the latest couple to have their wedding cancelled after a hotel was booked out by the Home Office for asylum seekers.
This comes after a man was forced to change his tattoo in February this year showing the time and date of his wedding after the hotel after it was cancelled due to the hotel being booked up for refugees.
The latest furious bride and groom Chris Wise, 74, and Carole Haragan, 68, are now hitting out at bosses for breaking their contract after they booked a hotel in Ashford, Kent, for August next year after months searching for the perfect wedding venue.
But while they were on holiday last week, Ms Haragan received a phone call saying her wedding was cancelled as the hotel is now being used by asylum seekers.
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.’
Chris Wise (right), 74, and Carole Haragan (left), 68, have lost their hotel wedding venue in Ashford, Kent, for August next year after months searching for the perfect wedding venue
Michael Crane, 37, pictured with fiancée Linda Brown, 42, both from Warrington, Cheshire, were among thousands of couples who were left without a venue for their big days earlier this year
Michael Crane, 37, was looking forward to his wedding day on 5 August this year, so much so that he got the date and time with ‘Always and forever’ tattooed on the back of his hand – but he was been forced to change the time and date in February when they were forced to change it after the hotel venue was used to house refugees
‘There are people who are in a worse position than us because their weddings are this year, at least we have got a bit of time,’ Mr Wise added.
‘The hotel was blaming the Government, but it’s a commercial decision.
‘They booked every room in that hotel until the end of December next year; they will get hundreds of thousands of pounds for this.’
The couple, who live in Kennington, near Ashford, are now in talks with a new venue.
But they say more needs to be done to find more suitable locations to house asylum seekers.
Mr Wise added: ‘Other councils with the same problems got a temporary injunction preventing it happening until it was assessed whether that hotel was actually suitable.
Email oliver.price@mailonline.co.uk
‘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 leader Gerry Clarkson said the situation cannot continue.
He added: ‘We have no control over this decision at all and are extremely angry at the Home Office on how they have handled this situation.
‘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.’
A groom was forced to have his tattoo showing the time and date of his wedding changed in February this year after the hotel venue closed to house asylum seekers.
Michael Crane and Linda Brown were left with the news that Best Western Park Hall Hotel in Lancashire (pictured) was closing as a wedding venue for it to reopen as a hotel for asylum seekers
The couple, who have been together for four years, forked out £4,000 for the big day. They have been able to rearrange their wedding for the next day at a different location, so he will get the 5 on his tattoo adjusted to 6, but the time will be wrong
Michael Crane, 37, was forced to change a tattoo with the time and date of his wedding after his dream venue cancelled his big day because it became a hotel to house asylum seekers.
Mr Crane and his fiancée Linda Brown, 42, from Warrington, Cheshire, were looking forward to their wedding day on August 5 this year, so much so that Michael got the time and date with ‘Always and forever’ above it tattooed on the back of his left hand.
But they were left with the news that Best Western Park Hall Hotel in Lancashire they paid £4,000 to book was closing as a wedding venue for it to reopen as a hotel for asylum seekers.
They were among thousands of couples who were left without a venue for their weddings.
Similarly, in September last year all bookings – including weddings – were cancelled at a hotel in Grantham after all 90 rooms were used to house 100 Afghan refugees.
The Urban Hotel, a four star hotel fit with spa, sauna and gym facilities, housed refugees fleeing Taliban-controlled Kabul after the British government agreed to rehome 20,000 displaced Afghans.
A plan to move asylum seekers from Kent to a hotel close to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s constituency home has also been made despite concerns over the fate of British homeless families and those fleeing the war in Ukraine housed in the venue, a council has said.
Campaigners say seven Ukrainian and two British families have been told to leave the Allerton Court Hotel, in Northallerton, which is just a few miles from Mr Sunak’s manor house home in a nearby village.
They say they are being relocated to Stockton-on-Tees and parts of County Durham to make way for people being relocated from the controversial centre at Manston, in Kent – a move which has also meant half-a-dozen weddings being cancelled at the 44-room North Yorkshire venue.
Hambleton District Council (HDC) said the move is going ahead despite concerns being raised. However, the Home Office insisted they ‘have been assured there are no homeless people or Ukrainians resident’ in the hotel.
A council spokeswoman said: ‘Hambleton District Council has been informed that the Home Office intend to use the Allerton Court Hotel in Northallerton as temporary emergency accommodation for asylum seekers.
‘This decision has been made following a meeting between HDC and the Home Office where concerns were raised around this proposal due to this hotel already being used, albeit on a limited basis, to temporarily house homeless people in Hambleton but more frequently to house Ukrainian families.
‘Despite the concerns raised, the Home Office has confirmed their intention to go ahead with the proposal.
‘We can confirm there is no intention for HDC to pursue legal action in relation to this decision.’
Allerton Court Hotel (pictured), four miles from Rishi Sunak’s constituency home will be used to accommodate Channel migrants over the winter as part of emergency Home Office plans
In a statement, the Home Office 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.
‘We have not yet taken occupancy of the hotel but have been assured there are no homeless people or Ukrainians resident in it.
‘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.’
Nicola David, chairwoman of the charity Ripon City of Sanctuary, which supports asylum seekers, said: ‘The Home Office talks about an invasion of migrants, which is awful language, but what they’ve done is invaded people’s lives up here.
‘People are being moved out of area, people are being turfed out of their emergency accommodation, people’s wedding plans are being invaded because, basically, the Home Office doesn’t care.
‘They just come down from above without consultation and without warning.’
She said she understands that the new arrivals will not come to the hotel until later this month to allow one wedding, which was deemed too late to cancel, to go ahead.
Ms David said: ‘There are things about this hotel which make it appropriate and make it inappropriate. It’s more an issue of timing and it’s more an issue of the backlog.
‘But I think this is going to be replicated all over the country. We’ve already seen that.’
She said: ‘We need the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to be looking at this problem nationally and not just in North Yorkshire.’
Ms David said the Ukrainian families moved to Stockton and County Durham will face lengthy journeys to access Northallerton schools and other services and the British families involved will have no access to free transport.
Hambleton Council mounted a legal challenge to the Home Office plan earlier this year to house up to 1,500 asylum seekers at a disused RAF base at Linton-on-Ouse, which is about 25 miles from Northallerton.
This plan was scrapped in August.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

source

Leave a Comment