Sefton Council’s leader said the authority has ‘every sympathy’ for people fleeing war and human rights abuses after asylum seekers were designated temporary accommodation at a Southport hotel during the coronavirus lockdown.
Cllr Ian Maher said that Sefton is keen to work with Serco Group Ltd and the Home Office to welcome 150 asylum seekers to The Scarisbrick Hotel on Lord Street in Southport town centre.
Southport MP Damien Moore last week spoke of his concerns over the plans.
Cllr Maher said: “Like Damien Moore, the Council has every sympathy for people who are fleeing their homeland to escape persecution and has previously passed a Full Council motion, supported by all political parties, which welcomed asylum seekers into our Borough.
“Ultimately, the placing of asylum seekers is the responsibility of the Home Office, supported by public services provider Serco Group plc, and the Council is keen to work with them to help these people who have had to flee their homes, possibly because of war or human rights abuses.”
Jenni Halliday, Serco Contract Director for Asylum Seeker Accommodation, said: “Serco had a constructive dialogue with officials in the Local Authority before any asylum seekers arrived in Southport and we are grateful for their support.
“Asylum seekers are being accommodated in the hotel in single rooms, unless they are a family.
“They are being given three meals per day and the Serco team is providing support in the hotel to these vulnerable people 24/7.