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Villagers voice asylum concerns

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Lincolnshire Echo

December 20, 2002

Residents have vowed to fight plans to convert a country estate into an asylum centre. At a public meeting in the village of Caythorpe, near Sleaford, the parish council told residents of plans to build a facility for around 300 asylum seekers. The Angel Group has proposed the development at Caythorpe Court, the former Lincolnshire School of Agriculture, which they bought last month. But the mood among the 250 villagers that attended the meeting was unanimous – they were overwhelming against the plans. Terry Norman (72), of South Parade, Caythorpe, is the self-appointed leader of the action group. He said: “I have already had half a dozen people committed to the cause and willing to volunteer their time. “We will seek to find out exact information and use this to work and react against the proposals. “We just hope we are not too late.” Mr Norman said the action group would meet for the first time in early January. He said: “We will try and target as much of the media as possible including the national press. “And the more people we can get involved and the more attention we get the harder it will be for developers to continue in their efforts.” In a letter to the Caythorpe Parish Council the Angel Group said it was still awaiting the results of a feasibility survey but their long term view for the 31-acre site is to establish a residential estate sold to owner occupiers. Parish Council chairman Andy Roberts said: “We had a meeting with the Angel Group on December 10 and expressed the concerns of the village on security, the local infrastructure and the effect it would have on property prices. “We asked what interaction the asylum population would have with the local people and what effect they would have on the Caythorpe way of life. “They assured us they would work closely with the parish council and the local police to minimise any problems and misunderstandings.” Colin Wotherspoon, district councillor and parish council chairman for Hemswell Cliff, in West Lindsey also attended the meeting. Mr Wotherspoon was part of an action group that fought successfully against plans to build a similar centre at an former RAF base in their village. He offered advice to the new action group. “It is in everyone’s interests that as many people in the village work together to fight the proposals,” he said. “Your arguments should be based around the accommodation centre and not racism or nimbyism (not in my back yard). Page 106 Villagers voice asylum concerns Lincolnshire Echo December 20, 2002 “To argue it would be unfair on human grounds to move these people here, not just for your community but for the asylum seekers themselves would be better.” The village of Caythorpe has a resident population of around 2000, with 500 houses, two pubs, a convenience store and a post office. The Venerable Brian Lucas from Caythorpe said: “We have to be clear that we clearly identify what we mean by asylum seekers. “Somebody who flees for his life is an asylum seeker but there are people who are economic migrants. “If they are genuine we should welcome them, but I am not sure we have adequate resources in the local community.” What do you think? e-mail yourview@lincolnshireecho.co.uk

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Written by Concerned

December 20, 2002 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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