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HomeNewsAshford Couples Wedding Plans Cancelled

Ashford Couples Wedding Plans Cancelled

A couple from Ashford have been left ‘stranded’ after their wedding was cancelled because the hotel is being used to house asylum seekers.

Chris Wise and Carole Haragan from Ashford are due to tie the knot in August 2023, having made the booking three months ago, but the hotel has now told them that the event is off.

Mr Wise said he received a phone call last week from the hotel who said they had to cancel the wedding as the venue had been taken over by the government for asylum seekers for the next twelve months.

Chris Wise said “Everything was going swimmingly. We had spoken to members of our family who live far away, and were keen to come and join in our celebration. Then we got the phone call. We paid our money and everything was fine.”.

Chris says he thinks the hotel’s decision has ‘total disregard for the people of Ashford’.

He urged the local council to apply for an injunction against the Home Office over the plans, something that some other councils across the country have done to stop the government block-booking hotel rooms for asylum seekers.

In a statement, Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Executive Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said “We have no control over this decision at all, and are extremely angry at The Home Office on how they have handled this situation. They have ignored not only our views, but those of Kent County Council, Kent Police and local health services. They have shown a complete disregard for us and the local community, and this situation cannot continue”.

A Home Office spokesperson said “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain. The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 37,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £5.6 million a day. The use of hotels is a short-term solution and we are working hard with local authorities to find appropriate accommodation.”

A 12 month contract does not sound like a short-term solution!

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