Residents in the village and surrounding areas have reacted to the unheralded plan to house those fleeing persecution with justifiable concerns, both for the future of its current residents and for those intended to be housed here.
In one of the now 150 letters sent to the Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a spokesperson for Linton-on-Ouse Action Group raises concern that those fleeing the horrors of war in Ukraine and similar will be housed in “what amounts to an open prison, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do and with a very uncertain future”, adding “it’s not a humane way to treat anyone”.
Jessie Hunton, another villager, astutely points out the Home Office is on record stating that asylum-seekers need to be housed in major conurbations with access to networks and facilities. Linton-on-Ouse manifestly fails to meet this criteria.
The disquiet is justified and would be less palpable had the Government consulted with residents prior to making its unilateral announcement.
Had they done so they would have learned that Linton-on-Ouse has one children’s play park, one primary school and one convenience store. It would become clear that ghettoising some of our planet’s most vulnerable and traumatised people in such a location was an unworkable proposition.
Instead the half-baked plan has come as an insult both to the village’s residents and those seeking refuge.
Given that the Government also wishes to send refugees thousands of miles to Rwanda for processing, it is clear that its asylum policy is not fit for purpose and needs to be reviewed urgently.