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St Ives hotel puts a roof over the head for asylum seekers

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The 67-bedroom Dolphin Hotel, St Ives, has stopped taking bookings after being given a Government contract to house asylum seekers.

The hotel, 13 miles from Cambridge, has been an iconic part of the town for many year, located on the banks of the Great Ouse.

With some offering river views or a balcony, the hotel has a new purpose into helping to house those who have arrived after crossing the English Channel from France.

In recent days, the Home Office has been under pressure to move asylum seekers from Manston, a former Ministry of Defence site in Thanet, which has been turned into a processing centre.

It emerged that as many as 3,500 people were being detained at Manston which is only meant to house people for just 1,600 and only for a few days.

Historic St Ives

One resident said on social media many being housed at the Dolphin were young men.

“I only hope they are able to move on into society,” he said.

Meanwhile former east Cambridgeshire councillor Tom Hunt, now MP for Ipswich, has complained about the use of hotel in his constituency for asylum seekers.

Mr Hunt is supporting Ipswich Borough Council, which was granted an interim injunction after the Home Office announced they wanted to use a local Novotel hotel for 200 asylum seekers.

“Accommodating people who have come here illegally in expensive hotels smack-bang in the town centre is not something I am going to support,” he said.

“Businesses are very concerned about this as it was often used by them for work.” 

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