Theo Clarke and the Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt have visited Beaconside as the Stafford MP continues her opposition to its use as accommodation for asylum seekers.
Theo showed the cabinet minister the building and area on Friday and told her about local people’s concerns that housing 500 asylum seekers at Beaconside would put services in the town under intolerable pressure.
The borough council turned down the application by Serco last summer following opposition by Theo, but the company has appealed the decision.
“I was really pleased to have a senior member of the government in Stafford seeing first-hand the pressure we face as a community if this appeal is successful,” said Mrs Clarke.
“I am pleased to see new legislation is coming forward to stop the boats crossing the channel – a move I support.
“However, until then I will continue to represent Stafford’s concerns to the government and to the Home Office about Beaconside and how inappropriate it is. This is a small market town lacking the services and infrastructure to cope with such numbers.
“As I have said before, Stafford is playing its part in housing asylum seekers but Beaconside would be too much. I will be meeting with the Home Secretary shortly to make these points.”
Penny Mordaunt added: “I was invited by Theo to come and look at the Beaconside site and to discuss the pressures we have for asylum seekers and refugees.
“We’ve got to get this system under control and we’ve got to deal with people, who for starters don’t need to be here at all, and also ensure the system is working effectively. To do that we need some new powers.
“We have to stop the small boats that are coming to this country and we have to be able to detain people and deport people either to a safe country where they’ve come from, or indeed a third safe country so their application can be processed from there.
“That’s what we’ve got to do and Theo and her team have been pressing on me the importance of bringing forward legislation to do that.”