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Stafford Borough Council awarded more than £50K towards cost of housing asylum seekers in hotel

Stafford Borough Council has been given more than £50,000 to help cover the cost of housing asylum seekers in the area.

Stafford Borough Council's Civic Centre at Riverside Stafford. Photo: Kerry Ashdown

The funding has come from the Home Office after a hotel in Stafford was used to provide temporary accommodation for people waiting for their asylum claims to be processed.

On Thursday, Stafford Borough Council’s cabinet granted permission to spend the funding. A report to the cabinet said: “A hotel in Stafford was opened in March 2023 to house those seeking asylum.

“On March 31, there were 67 people living at the hotel. This is the date the Home Office use to calculate payments to local authorities for costs that they incurred due to the hotel operating for this purpose in their area.

“Stafford Borough Council has received an allocation of £50,250 in this regard. At the date of writing, it has been confirmed that the contract between Serco and the hotel owner to house asylum seekers will end in February 2024, with no further costs being anticipated after this date.”

Speaking at Thursday's meeting, Councillor Jill Hood, cabinet member for community, said: "This funding is to cover the council’s costs that have been incurred because of the operation of the hotel housing asylum seekers.

"Actual hotel running costs are covered in the contract between the Home Office and Serco, so this funding only relates to the costs the council has incurred.

“Costs have fallen in two main areas; one is community safety partnerships and CCTV. The team has worked closely with Serco and the police to ensure the safety of all residents in the district.

“(The second is) housing options. When asylum seekers get a positive decision on their asylum claim, they are entitled to housing advising assistance.

“The Housing Options team has been providing this advice. For those who are homeless and in priority need, there is a duty to provide temporary accommodation.

“Extra costings for each service area are being compiled. The funding will be used to cover these costs.”

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