Folkestone and Hythe Labour Group Statement on the Use of Napier Barracks (16th September 2020)

The Folkestone and Hythe Labour Group welcomes the decision for Napier Barracks, an unused Government-owned site, to be used in order to temporarily house and support those arriving on our shores as asylum seekers.

We are pleased to see the latest clarification from the Home Office, Partner Agencies and Folkestone and Hythe District Council. We hope the arrangements will work well for all involved, including the local community, and we hope sufficient further funding will be granted to local authorities, in order not to further exacerbate existing financial pressures.

It is incumbent on us in this country, as a founding member of the United Nations, a humane and Christian Nation to provide safe, suitable accommodation for people, whilst the appropriate authorities process claims.

We do not seek to judge the status of people. That is not for us to decide; we believe that this should be done in accordance with international law and with compassion, fairness and justice.

Reflecting the views of our local constituents, we also urge that support and assistance for homeless people already living within the District continues to be a high priority. We would take the view that these two issues are inter-related as demonstrations of our commitment to vulnerable individuals and those in need; the concerns shown for both groups should therefore not be seen as mutually exclusive.

Ends.