VIDEO: Angry scenes as MP addresses residents on asylum seekers at public meeting in Skegness

There were angry scenes when local MP Matt Warman addressed residents over their concerns about the rise in numbers of asylum seekers in Skegness.

MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman  addressing the public meeting  in Skegness.
MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman addressing the public meeting in Skegness.

Around 400 people with standing room only packed the church at the Storehouse for the emergency meeting, demanding to know ‘when it will stop’ after the numbers of hotels being used increased from three to five in the space of a weekend.

The overall feeling from both residents and Mr Warman, who tried to calm proceedings by insisting he was ‘on their side’, was the need for a speeding up of processing.

Matters raised included suitability of hotels and the town to house asylum seekers – with concerns about the impact on local services including medical services and the police’s ability to cope with any rise in crime.

Hoteliers claimed after the outburst at the recent Skegness Town Council meeting they were losing bookings, with one claiming he had refused an offer of half a million pounds to take asylum seekers but had refused in spite of his business rates recently ‘tripling’.

Supt Pat Coates was met with raised voices when he tried to reassure the meeting there had been no clear rise in crime in connection with the arrival of asylum seekers.

When flooded with a number of allegations, he stressed the importance of incidents being reported to the police.

He said the police station was manned 24/7 and having coped with the influx of thousands of visitors in the summer was more than capable of dealing with any incidents regarding the 200 asylum seekers in town.

Some members of public left the meeting ahead of the three hours that had been allocated, with others claiming it was because they were still not getting answers.

However, Mr Warman said that in spite of continuing to ‘bang on’ to the Government about the unsuitability of Skegness for asylum seekers he was not going to make promises regarding a timeline that he could not keep.

He said: “Three points that I have made are we need to deter people to make those journeys across the Channel, we need to speed up processing so people are not in hotels for long periods and we need to look at alternative forms of accommodation such as the military barracks.

"These can’t come soon enough.”