LETTER: Hostel issues surrounding refugees

AS chairman of a parish council, I am regularly approached on a number of topics and the application to change the residential status at Earnley Concourse as reported in your newspaper last week is typical of such matters.

On this matter of using Earnley Concourse to house refugees, as I see it, it’s relatively simple.

Has the refugee status of the potential occupants been established?

If yes, then we as a compassionate society can have little reason to object.

If they are economic migrants who meet our conditions of eligibility, again we should have little cause for concern.

However, if the refugee status of these people has yet to be established, then I think the situation is completely different, not least until we fully understand what level of risk the community will be exposed to. Assuming that 95 per cent of those to be assessed pose NO risk to us whatsoever, this could still leave a potential for ten people every 16 days or so who may expose us to an as-yet unquantifiable risk.

What measures will Chichester District Council take to ensure that these people will be securely accommodated and that they will have no opportunity to abscond until their eligibility for entry into this country is satisfactorily established?

Until I have satisfactory answer to this question, I have no alternative but to object to the application.

Laurie Pocock

Cherry Lane,