Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell has welcomed the government announcing that two local hotels will stop being used to house asylum seekers.

We have asked which two.

This still leaves what we believe to be another 4.

The properties will be part of the first wave of 50 hotels across the country to stop taking migrants because of the impact on Eastbourne’s visitor economy.

Caroline said she spoke to the immigration minister Robert Jenrick again yesterday to go through the details. She has worked with the government and the council to ensure the hotels could stop being used in this inappropriate way.

“I am very pleased these two hotels in Eastbourne will no longer be used to house asylum seekers and hopefully they can go back to taking our tourists,” said Caroline.

“This is something I committed to when I met hoteliers and B&B owners and it is a boost to our town.

“What this means is that some asylum seekers still in the assessment process will be more appropriately housed. It is right that there is a fairer and more equitable dispersal across the region and country and that coastal communities do not bear the brunt.

“Those whose application has been successful will now have recourse to funds through Universal Credit and can seek employment.  It is very often the case, they will move to join family or connections in other parts of the country.

“Some will be disappointed with a rejection of their case and plans will be made to return them to their home country.

“Getting to this point has taken time and has been part of a long run of engagement work on behalf of the town to ensure the government recognised the pressures we have faced literally on the shoreline of the small boat crisis.”

The MP also welcomed news that the number of small boat crossings continues to fall following agreements with France and Albania and stricter penalties for those connected to illegal migration through the Illegal Migration Act.

According to the latest figures, small boat crossings so far this year are down 30%.

The MP added she will write to the borough council in support of their measures to ensure the hotels are brought up to standard and back into tourist use.

She added she shared the council’s concern about possible homelessness and would work with it.

“Eastbourne is a generous and compassionate town but the truth is we simply do not have the capacity to provide for all those who would seek social housing. That already applies to local people so it cannot be for those from other places,” she explained.  

“It is for this reason the government is looking to establish a cap on the number of asylum seeker applications we can accept and it will be built on local government’s ability to provide shelter and services.

“That hotels in Eastbourne have been able to pivot to Home Office contracts in this way is a short and longer term challenge. All the while they have operate as such impacts the hospitality sector but after closure, they risk generating a potential legacy of need we cannot meet should successful applicants – in any number – seek to make their lives here.”