'I’ve voted Conservative all my life, and now I never will again': Villagers react as Linton-on-Ouse reported to be new home of asylum centre

Villagers living in Linton-on-Ouse had a mixed reaction to reports a reception centre for asylum seekers is soon to be opened at the village’s former RAF base.

The base - which could be used to house hundreds of people seeking refuge - is a short walk away from the heart of the village, some 10 miles from York.

Surrounded by gentle hills, and entered via a toll bridge that costs 40p to cross, it is a quiet village with just one shop, a school and a pub that has been shut for several years. Public transport options are limited and there is no local taxi firm.

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Mya Aston, 19, works in the village shop, Linton Stores.

The base - which could be used to house hundreds of people seeking refuge - is a short walk away from the heart of the village, some 10 miles from York. Photo: Tony Johnson

She said: “This morning was the first I’d heard of it.

“I’m not really worried. People need somewhere safe to stay, the base isn’t being used, and it’s the perfect place for it.

“It’s been a mixed reaction, and some people do have reservations - they’re unsure and we’ve not been given information.”

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Kevin Robinson, 65, has run The Manor House bed and breakfast with his wife Janet for 19 years.

He said: “Until we know what it’s going to be, it’s hard to speculate.

“There’s been a lot of gossip on the internet.

“We don’t know if they will be held within the boundary of the RAF base, and if that’s the case, I can’t see how that would affect us.

“I would be less concerned if it was families and couples, but I would be a little bit concerned if it was single men.

“I’m not really worried about it having an impact on bookings, it never had an impact when it was an RAF base.”

Mrs Robinson, 67 said: “In some ways this is an ideal place.

“We don’t worry too much about these things in terms of security.

“But there are a lot of elderly people in this village, and they will be very cautious.

“I know we have friends who will be worried.”

That worry was expressed by one resident of Newton, a mile away, who said he had already met with members of the parish council to discuss his concerns.

“I’ve voted Conservative all my life, and now I never will again,” the anonymous villager said.