I am extremely disappointed to be told that the Home Office have extended the exclusive contract with the Holiday Inn at Manvers for another year, until October 2023.
Once again, this is a decision that has been taken without consultation with our local community, council or agencies and it goes against what the Government said back in March, that this would be a ‘temporary’ use.
Following this news I have:
➡️ Written the below letter to the new Home Secretary to reiterate why the hotel is totally unsuited as accommodation for asylum seekers
➡️ Fixed a face-to-face meeting with the Immigration Minister where I will press him to undertake a six-month review of the new contract and release the hotel again for commercial guests.
➡️ Arranged for the senior Home Office director responsible in London, to visit Rotherham this month so she can see for herself the problems with our Manvers location
When I met the hotel owners in the summer, I made clear the strength of local feeling over getting the hotel back open to the public. They confirmed in that discussion, and again now when they told me about the extended Home Office contract, that “the longer-term plan is to operate Holiday Inn Express, Rotherham very much as a hotel facility and support tourism in the area.”
They have also given a clear undertaking to invest in refurbishing the hotel prior to re-opening it as a Holiday Inn Express again. I am determined to hold them to this.