Although Skegness is just outside of the geographical area covered by this website, the events that are unfolding in this Lincolnshire resort are similar to what is happening to many of the seaside towns in northern England that rely on the annual summer tourist trade for their all-year-round livelihoods.
The Refugee Council has called on the Government not to disclose the names of migrant hotels to the general public, citing safety concerns. It is believed that the charity’s chief executive, Enver Solomon, wrote to the House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, expressing ‘serious concerns’ over the safety of asylum seekers arriving in England in small boats across the English Channel.
Our seaside towns have been struggling for years. The peak trading months of summer help pay the bills during the long winter closure. Blackpool, Bridlington, Scarborough and many other of our traditional coastal towns now have a new problem to contend with: block-booking of hotels for periods of between 12-24-months for asylum seekers.
On paper, the commandeering of seaside hotels may seem like a good idea. If the hotels are full, the shops, cafes and pubs should also be doing a roaring trade. Unfortunately these ‘refugees’ will not be partaking in the usual holiday pastimes. They will not be helping the local economy by spending money as traditional holidaymakers do.
And when summer comes, the British holidaymakers won’t be able to stay in these seaside towns because all of the hotel rooms are occupied by refugees. The tacky souvenir shops with their ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats, the stick-of-rock shops, bingo halls and the pubs and cafes will be empty. The knock-on effect will hit the seasonal entertainers too. Who will book an Abba tribute act if there is no one to come and see it? No wonder the locals, who rely on the seasonal trade and the employment it brings, are up in arms.
So, back to Skegness. The latest news is that five hotels have been taken over by migrants. These are not shabby back-street affairs. Four of them are facing the seafront (The Grand on North Parade, The Leisure Hotel on Drummond Road, The Sun Hotel on the seafront and the Chatsworth Hotel). The situation is so serious in fact, that furious residents turned out in force at a Skegness council meeting demanding answers on the migrant invasion of their town.
Councillor Billy Brookes, from East Lindsey District Council, said: “I think people are scared really. They’re scared of the fact that people are going to be coming here and not have the support and the infrastructure, and the things that vulnerable people who staying in these hotels need.” Really? If this ‘support and infrastructure’ is what Councillor Brookes thinks is upsetting the locals then we don’t have the time or the crayons to explain the real reason to him.
Meanwhile, the mayor has called an extraordinary meeting at Tower Gardens Pavilion in Skegness at 7pm on November 30 to discuss the use of hotels in the town for housing asylum seekers. Should be a lively meeting we think.
A similar post entitled ‘Poor Blackpool – The End Of The British Seaside Resort’ can be read here >>
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