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4 May, 2022

Commissioner Zoë has written to the Home Secretary regarding the Asylum Accommodation Proposals in Linton-on-Ouse

Zoë Metcalfe – Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and the City of York
After meeting with and listening to members of the public and the parish council in Linton-on-Ouse, Commissioner Zoë has written to Priti Patel to share her concerns surrounding asylum accommodation proposals and build on the themes she has already raised with the Home Office.

In her letter, Commissioner Zoë explains that Linton-on-Ouse is an isolated, rural location with a very small subsisting population of circa 600 adults and 100 children. It has limited local amenities, poor public transport and is over ten miles to the nearest city, York. The village has too few local amenities to occupy or serve the needs of the additional residents – understood to be in excess of 500 – proposed to be housed at the RAF site.

There has been no prior engagement with North Yorkshire Police or North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, nor with the Commissioner herself. The extra demand on both these services are a concern, and Commissioner Zoë has detailed these concerns to the Home Secretary, including the cost implications on both services and the challenges of meeting these extra demands over a sustained period.

Commissioner Zoë also expresses her concern over the lack of any consultation with either the community or local stakeholders and how residents have been taken completely by surprise over the proposals. She has asked the Home Secretary to commit to a step change in the approach to public engagement and to keep all residents and all local stakeholders fully informed in future.

Community safety is a priority for Commissioner Zoë, and she has asked the Home Secretary to consider whether Linton-on-Ouse is the appropriate location for the site. Should these proposals proceed (whether in their current form of otherwise), it is vital that they proceed in a way which leaves all current and future residents safe and feeling safe.

As yet, there has been no response to the letter and Commissioner Zoë has offered to meet with the Home Secretary to discuss the proposal further.

As soon as we have a response and further information to report we will provide an update to the public.